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Xewisbam Hntiquavian Society, 



ot tbe 

lewisbani Hntiquavian Society 



printc^ tor tbc Societv bv 

Charles -Wortb, Zbe JSlackbcatb press, S. E- 


List ok Officers and Members of the Coun'cil 
Eighteenth Annual Report for 1902 .. 
Nineteenth Annual Report for 1903 ... 
Twentieth Annual Report for 1904 
Twenty-First Annual Report for 1905 
Twenty-Second Annual Report for 1906 
Twenty-Third .Annual Report for 1907 
Balance Sheets 


Proceedings, 1897-1907 
List of Members 



1 1 



ILewiebam antiquaiian Society. 



Cbairman of tbe douncil. 

PERCY W. AMES, Esq.. LL.D., F.S.A., F.R.G.S. 


PERCY W. AMES, Esq., LL D., F.S.A., F.R.G.S. 



The Rev. Canon R. RHODES BRISTOW, M.A. 

The Rijfht Hon. The EARL OF DARTMOUTH. 

LELAND L. DUNCAN, Esq., M.V.O., F.S..A. 





LEON-VRD M. M.A.Y, Esq. 

Ibonorarg treasurer. 


Ibonorars Seccetacs- 


IbonoratB auDitor. 


Xewisbam anticiuarian Society, 

JEigbteentb annual IReport, 1902. 

The Council has the pleasure to present the Eighteenth 
Annual Report. During the year seven meetings have been 

7TH January. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall, when papers 
were read: (i) on "Mediseval Lavatories," by Edward 
W. Brabrook, Esq., c.b., f.s.a., Vice-President of the 
Society; (2) "Fonts and their Sculptures," by George 
C. Druce, Esq. Both were illustrated by a number of 
lantern slides. 

28TH January. Seventeenth Annual General Meeting in the 
Parish Church Hall. Lecture, illustrated by lantern 
slides, on "Underground Greenwich," by W. E. Ball, 
Esq., LL.D., President. 

25TH February. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall, when 
A. R. Goddard, Esq., read a paper on "Nine Men's 
Morris," an old Viking game, illustrated by numerous 
diagrams. Herbert Jones, Esq., f.s..a., member of the 
Council, gave a brief description of the Roman Villa 
recently discovered in Greenwich Park. Leland L. Duncan, 
Esq., F.S.A. , read a paper on "Some Glimpses of Lewis- 
ham in the 14th Century," with extracts from the Court 
Roll of the Manor. R. Garraway Rice, Esq., f.s.a., 
member of the Council, gave a lantern exhibition of old 
buildings, tombs and other objects of antiquarian interest. 

iiTH March. Meeting in the Court Hill Schools, when Leland 
L. Duncan, Esq., f.s.a., read papers: (1) on "The 
Attempt made in 1614 to enclose the Common of West- 
wood, which covered the ground now occupied by 
Sydenham"; (2) on "A Letter to the Rev. Abraham 
Colfe, dated 1642, hitherto unpublished, which gives some 
particulars of the place as seen by a London Puritan"; 
(3) on "The Action by the Rev. Abraham Colfe to recover 
Tythes withheld by certain parishioners in 1653." 


2istJu\e. Visit to Cobham Hall, Gravesend, by kind per- 
mission of Lord Darnley, when the house and its inter- 
esting collection of pictures, etc., were inspected. After 
tea a visit was paid to Cobham Church, which contains a 
fine collection of brasses and tombs. 

12TH November. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall, when 
A. D. Webster, Esq., Superintendent of Greenwich Park, 
gave a lecture on "Greenwich Park: its History and 
Associations," illustrated by a large number of lantern 

15TH November. Meeting, arranged by Gifford Hooper, Esq., 
at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, by kind permission 
of Admiral Sir R. More Molineux, G.c.B.,when the Crypt 
of the old Palace of Placentia was inspected, also the 
Museum, Chapel, etc.; afterwards A. D. Webster, Esq., 
conducted the party through the underground passages 
in Greenwich Park; and after tea in the kiosk, the 
various "finds," lately discovered at the Roman Villa in 
the Park, were explained. 
During the year the Society has lost 38 members, 21 

members have been elected, and the number now on the register 

is 174. 

The volume containing Particulars of Visits, etc., i8gg- 

1901, and the paper on "The Maze of Maze Hill, Troy Towns 

and Jerusalem Roads," by W. E. Ball, Esq., ll.d., has been 

published and issued to members whose subscriptions were not 

in arrear. 

The Council desires to thank all members and friends who 
have contributed to the success of the Society in the past year 
by reading papers, arranging meetings, etc. 

W. E. BALL, President. 
HERBERT C. KIRBY, Hon. Secretary. 
14th January, igoj. 

IRiueteentb Hnnual IReport, 1903. 

In presenting the Annual Report the Council congratulates 

the members upon the contmued success and usefulness of the 

Society. During the year eight meetings have been held. 

27TH Janlarv. Annual General Meeting in the Parish Church 

Hall. Charles Welch, Esq., Librarian of the Corporation 

of the City of London, gave a lecture upon "The .Ancient 

Guilds of the City of London," illustrated by about 160 

lantern slides. 


24TH February. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall, when 
George C. Druce, Esq., read a paper upon "Early 
Christian Art in the Catacombs of Rome,'" illustrated by 
numerous lantern views. 

lOTH March. Mefeting in the Court Hill Schools, when (i) 
H. Chettle, Esq., m.a., read a paper, entitled " Words"; 
and (2) Philip M. Johnstone, Esq., gave an account of 
the Wall Paintings in Claverley Church, representing an 
incident of the Norman Conquest. Mr. Johnstone's 
account was illustrated by full-sized coloured tracings. 

4TH April. Visit, under the direction of A. L. Hardy, Esq., a 
member of the Council, to Crosby Hall, and the Churches 
of St. Helen, Bishopsgate, St. Andrew Undershaft, All 
Hallows Staining (tower and Norman crypt), and St. 
Olave, Hart Street. 

9TH May. Visit, arranged by J. H. Porter, Esq., member of 
Council, to Lingfield, where the ancient Guest House 
was visited, by kind permission of C. J. Hayward, Esq., 
who afterwards conducted the members over the Parish 
Church, and gave an address upon its history and monu- 
ments. The neighbouring half-timber houses, and the 
village cross and stone cell were also visited. 

6th June. Visit to Merstham and Chaldon, arranged by Gifford 
Hooper, Esq. At Merstham, T. Fisher, Esq., Church- 
warden, conducted the members over the Parish Church. 
At Chaldon, under the guidance of the Rev. G. E. Belcher, 
Rector, the Church was visited with Its unique twelfth- 
century wall-painting representing the Ladder of Salva- 
tion of the Human Soul, and the Road to Heaven. 
Papers were read in the two Churches by Mr. Gifford 

I2TH November. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall. A paper 
upon "Samuel Pepys and St. Olave's, Hart Street," was 
read by Mr. J. W. Brookes, one of the Honorary Sec- 
retaries of the Society. Herbert Jones, Esq., f.s.a. , 
member of the Council, gave an account of recent ex- 
cavations at Caerwent and Silchester, and the discoveries 
at Newgate Prison ; and a number of lantern slides were 
exhibited: (i) from photographs taken at Lingfield, 
Merstham, etc., by F. W. Nunn, Esq., and J. H. Porter, 
Esq.; and (2) Views prepared by J. C. Weare, Esq., of 
Blackheath, Greenwich, Eltham, etc. 

8th December. Meeting at the Parish Church Hall, when a 
paper was read by Leonard M. May, Esq., member of 
Council, upon "The Architecture of our Parish Churches," 
illustrated by numerous lantern slides. 
The number of members now upon the register is 187. 

( •!)_ 

The Council desires to thank Charles A. Spon, Ksq., who 
has kindly performed the duties of Honorary Treasurer durinij 
the absence of Miss M. L. Spon in the United States; also 
the members and others who have during the year read papers 
or otherwise contributed to the success of the Society. 

The Council also wishes to express regret that removal 
from Lewisham has necessitated Mr. H. C. Kirby's resignation 
qf the office of Honorary Secretary, and its high appreciation of 
the valuable services he has rendered the Society during his 
seventeen years' tenure of that office. 

W. E. BALL, President. 

JOSEPH W. BROOKES, Hon. Secretary. 

T=;th January, igo^. 

XTwentietb Bnniml IReport, 1904. 

The Council has the pleasure to present its Report for the 
year 1904. The meetings held were nine in number. 

26TH January. Annual General Meeting in the Parish Church 
Hall. W. E. Ball, Esq., ll.d.. President of the Society, 
read a paper on "The Connection of Greenwich and 
Lewisham with Flanders, and its Influence on the 
History of England." 

23RD February. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall, when 
Leland L. Duncan, Esq., m.v.o., f.s.a., one of the Vice- 
Presidents of the Societ)', gave an address upon "Lewis- 
ham and Blackheath in Days gone by," which was 
illustrated by over 70 lantern slides, mainly of buildings 
no longer existing, prepared from old prints and 

22ND March. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall. Herbert 
Jones, Esq., f.s.a., a member of the Council, gave an 
address upon "The Roman Wall from Newcastle to 
Carlisle," which was illustrated by diagrams and a 
number of lantern slides taken and kindly lent by A. S. 
Cover, Esq. 

I2TH April. Meeting In the Parish Church Hall, when Douglas 
Strutt, Esq., a member of the Council, gave a lecture 
upon "The Antiquities of Constantinople," illustrated by 
numerous lantern slides. 

( 12) 

iiTH June. Meeting- at Guildford, under the direction of 
Douo^las Strutt, Esq. The members visited the Grammar 
School (endowed by Edward VI), Archbishop Abbott's 
Hospital, the Guildhall, the Parish Church of St. Mary, 
and the Castle Keep and Grounds. Tea was served at 
the "Sign of the Angel," where the 13th century vaults 
were afterwards inspected. 
9TH July. Meeting at Chislehurst, under the guidance of 
E. A. Webb, Esq., f.s.a. The Parish Church of St. 
Nicholas was visited; also, by permission of G. Marsham 
Townshend, Esq., the site of Scadbury House. Mr. 
Webb gave an account of the history both of the Church 
and Scadbury. After tea at the "Bickley Arms," the 
members were conducted through the caves in the chalk 
by W. J. Nichols, Esq., who read a paper on their 
probable origin. 
2gTH October. Meeting in the City of London, arranged by 
A. L. Hardy, Esq., a member of the Council. The 
Churches of St. Magnus the Martyr and St. Dunstan-in- 
the-East (both partly the work of Sir Christopher Wren) 
were visited ; also the Hall of the Bakers' Company in 
Harp Lane; and the house in Love Lane supposed to 
have been built and occupied by Sir Christopher Wren. 
i5rH November. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall, when 
Leland L. Duncan, Esq., m.v. o., f.s.a., repeated his 
address upon "Lewisham and Blackheath in Days gone 
by," the lantern slides exhibited on the 23rd Februar}- 
being again shown, with one or two additions. 
13TH December. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall, when 
R. Garraway Rice, Esq., f.s.a., exhibited and described 
a large number of lantern slides of archaeological interest, 
mainly of the City of York and neighbourhood; also a 
set of sixteen slides of some fine iron work at Hampton 
r The number of members now upon the register of the 
Society is 180. 

TJne Council again desires to thank Charles A. Spon, Esq., 
for performing the duties of Honorary Treasurer during the 
continued absence of Miss M. L. Spon; to Ernest S. W. Hart, 
Esq., for his valuable assistance in the management of the 
lantern ; also to the members of the Society and others who 
have read papers or otherwise contributed to the success of the 
Society during the year. 

The new long focus optical lantern recently purchased by 
the Society has proved a valuable acquisition, and enabled the 
slides in illustration of papers read to be shown to much greater 
fidvantage than before. 

( 13) 

It is hoped that arrang^ements may shortly he made for the 
publication in a permanent form of Mr. Leland L. Duncan's 
lecture upon "Old Lewisham and Blackheath," with repro- 
ductions of the old views and photographs exhibited. 

15th January, ic^o^. 

W. E. BALL, President. 

J. \V. BROOKES, Hon. Secretary. 

XI\vents*jfirBt Hnnual IRepoit, 1905. 

In presenting its Report for the year 1905, the Council 
desires to congratulate the members upon the Society having 
attained its " majority," and to express the hope that it may 
have many more years of usefulness before it. In 1905 nine 
meetings were held : — 

17TH J.ANL'ARV. .Annual General Meeting in the Parish Church 
Hall, W. E. Ball, Esq., ll.d. , the retiring President in 
the Chair. W. E. Brabrook, Esq., c.b., f.s..^., etc., 
Founder of the Society, and its first President, was re- 
elected President for the ensuing year. Gilbert H. 
Lovegrove, Esq., gave a Popular Lecture upon "West- 
minster Abbey," fully illustrated by lantern slides. 

14TH February. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall. George 
C. Druce, Esq., read a paper entitled "Pictures in 
Ecclesiastical Architecture," illustrated by lantern slides. 

14TH March. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall. Leonard M. 
May, Esq., member of Council, gave an illustrated 
Lecture upon "English Monumental Brasses, from the 
XIII to the XVI century." 

6th May. Meeting at Brasted and Sundridge, under the 
guidance of J. H. Porter, Esq., member of Council. The 
Parish Churches of Brasted and Sundridge were visited, 
and papers were read by J. H. Porter, Esq., and F. W. 
Nunn, Esq. 

3RD June. Meeting at West Wickham. Wickham Court and 
Gardens were visited, by kind permission of Sir Henry 
Farnaby Lennard, also the Parish Church of St. John the 
Baptist, noted for its fifteenth century brasses, monu- 
ments and glass, and its original carved oak chancel 
screen. Afterwards the members walked to Hayes, 
where the ancient British entrenchments upon the 
Common were inspected. 

( 14) 

29TH June. Whole day Meeting at Maidstone, arranged by 
F. W. Nunn, Esq., member of Council. The fine Parish 
Church of All Saints, the Archbishop's Palace, the Col- 
lege founded by Archbishop Courtenay, and the County 
Museum in Chillingford Manor House, were visited ; 
also, by kind permission of Dudley C. Falcke, Esq., the 
remains of Allington Castle, partly dating from the 
XIII century. 

30TH September. Meeting in .Southwark Cathedral, under the 
guidance of the Rev. Canon R. Rhodes Bristow. After- 
wards the members visited the remains of the "George," 
one of the old galleried inns for which Southwark was 
formerly famous. 

7TH November. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall, when 
Andrew Oliver, Esq.,, gave an illustrated 
Lecture entitled " A Ramble in Old London," describing 
many old buildings lying between Trafalgar Square and 
the Tower, a large number of which no longer exist. 

5TH December. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall. Philip H. 
Newman, Esq., f.s.a., r.b.a., f.r.s.l., gave a Lecture 
upon "Art Recollections of a Tour in Spain," illustrated 
by upwards of ninety slides prepared from Mr. Newman's 
own photographs. 

In April last the Council forwarded to the Worshipful 
Company of Leathersellers, a petition in favour of the preserva- 
tion of the old Almshouses founded by the Rev. Abraham 
Colfe, Vicar of Lewisham, 1610 to 1657. At the enquiry held 
on 1st December in the Town Hall, Catford, by the Charity 
Commissioners, this Society was represented by Leland 
L. Duncan, M.v.o., f.s.a., Vice-President, and by E. C. 
Thurgood, Esq., member of Council, the former of whom gave 
evidence. The Commissioner's report has not yet been made 
public ; but the Council hope some scheme may be decided 
upon which will ensure the retention of the old buildings, 
" which have been for 250 years a picturesque element in the 
High Street of the Parish." 

The Council regrets the death during the year of the Rev. 
J. Morlais Jones, formerly a \'ice-President of the Society ; and 
of James W. Ramsay, Esq., who for five years acted as 
Honorary Auditor. 

The number of Members now upon the roll of the Society 
is 170. 

The Council again desire to thank Ernest S. W. Hart, Esq. 
for undertaking the management of the lantern at the Society's 


The Treasurer's Statement of Accounts will be laid before 
the Society, and whilst satisfactory as showing a balance in 
hand in favour of the Society, that balance is too small to allow 
of any publications or other efforts for the good of the Society 
being contemplated. The Council accordingly recommends to 
the consideration of the Society whether it would not be 
desirable to increase the annual subscription from 2S. 6d. to 5s. 

JOSEPH W. BROOKES, Hon. Secretary. 

i6th Junutuy, igo6. 

Xr\venty*5econ& Hnnual IReport, 1906. 

During the past year eight meetings were held : — 

I 6th January. Annual General Meeting in the Parish Church 
Hall. The President, Sir E. W. Brabrook, c.B., f.s.a., 
etc., gave an address upon "The Coming-of-Age of the 
Lewisham Antiquarian Society." 

13TH February. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall Club 
Room. A. E. Salter, Esq.,, a member of the 
Council, read a paper " On the Evidence for the Great 
Antiquity of Man in Northern Kent and Surrey," which 
was illustrated by maps, diagrams and specimens of flint 

13TH M.\RCH. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall. Douglas 
Strutt, Esq., member of Council, gave a Lecture upon 
"The Cathedrals of England and Wales," illustrated by 
lantern slides. 

i8th M.\y. Meeting in Essex, under the guidance of J. H. 
Porter, Esq., member of Council, when Ingatestone, 
Mountnessing, Margaretting, Fryerning, Blackmore and 
Greenstead Churches were visited ; also Ingatestone 
Hall, and Blackmore House, known as "Jericho." At 
the latter the members were entertained at tea by the 
kindness of the owner, T. R. Hull, Esq. 

i6th June. Meeting at Westerham, arranged by Lewis C. 
Thomson, Esq., member of Council, when by the kind- 
ness of Lieut. -Col. Warde, Squerryes Court was visited ; 
and afterwards the spacious Parish Church. 


22\D September. Meeting at Waltham, Essex, arranged by 
Douglas Strutt, Esq., member of Council.. The Abbey 
Church of the Holy Cross was visited, under the guidance 
of the Rev. J. H. Stamp, who afterwards conducted the 
members to the remains of the monaster)-, and also to 
the house of Mr. Cressy in Romeland, a fifteenth century 
building known to have been visited by Cranmer, Fox 
and Gardiner. 

20TH NovE.MBER. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall, when 
the Rev. W. Chynoweth Pope gave a fully illustrated 
Lecture entitled " In the Italian Boot." 

iiTH December. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall. Leland 
L. Duncan, Esq., M.v.o., f.s.a., read a paper entitled 
"Church Notes in Kent," dealing mainly with the wills 
of Kentish folk in the sixteenth and seventeenth cen- 
turies. The Lecture was illustrated by specially prepared 
lantern slides from Mr. Duncan's own photographs. 

The thanks of the Society are again due to Mr, Ernest 
Hart for kindly working the lantern. 

In accordance with the notice given in the Council's Report 
for 1905, a Resolution was submitted to the Meeting held on 
13th March, and passed unanimously, raising the annual 
subscription payable by members of the Society, to five 
shillings ; and the Council hopes shortly, by means of the 
additional funds so obtained, to resume the publication of 
occasional volumes of reports of the Proceedings of the Society. 

The Council congratulates the Society on the success of the 
efforts made to prevent the destruction of the Colfe Almshouses, 
efforts to which the Society was able to give some assistance. 
The amount required for the repair of the Almshouses has now 
been raised, and it is expected that they will soon be put again 
into a habitable condition. 

During the past year the Society has been admitted an 
Associated Society of the British Association, and was 
represented at the Conference of Delegates at York in August 
last by A. E. Salter, Esq., 

JOSEPH W. BROOKES, Hon. Secretary. 

ijth January, igo/. 


xr\vent»Trbii*& Bnnual IReport, 1907. 

The Council is glad to be able to report another successful 
year's work. The meetings of the Society during 1907 were 
nine in number : — 

15TH January. Annual General Meeting held in the Parish 
Church Hall. Sir E. W. Brabrook, c.B., v.p.s.A., etc., 
President of the Society, read a paper upon "The 
Progress of Antiquarian Research up to and in the XIX 
Century." This paper has since been printed in the 
" Antiquary." 

19TH Febru.\rv. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall, when 
C. A. Spon, Esq., Hon. Treasurer of the Society, gave 
an illustrated Lecture entitled " .\ Visit to Cracow — the 
Old Capital of Poland." 

I2TH March. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall, when a 
paper was read by George C. Druce, Esq., upon "Animal 
Sculptures in Church Architecture, and their meaning," 
which was illustrated by lantern slides. 

i5th April. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall. Lewis C. 
Thomson, Esq., a member of the Council, read a paper 
upon " Early Man in Devon, with special reference to 
Dartmoor," with lantern views. 

8th May. Whole day Meeting in Tunbridge Wells and 
neighbourhood, under the direction of J. H. Porter, Esq., 
a member of the Council, when the ruins of Bayham 
Abbey, Scotney Castle, and Goudhurst Church were 
visited ; descriptive notes being read by Mr. Porter. 

8th June. Meeting at Otford, arranged by Lewis C. 
Thomson, Esq., when the principal objects of interest 
visited were the ruins of the former Palace of the Arch- 
bishops of Canterbury, Becket's Well, the "Bull Inn," 
built in 1650, and Otford Parish Church. Short papers 
upon these buildings were read by Mr. Thomson. 

5TH October. A visit was paid to the Church and Crypt of St. 
John's, Clerkenwell, under the guidance of Mr. Church- 
warden Fincham, who gave an interesting account of the 
Knights Hospitallers of St. John ; and to the Church of 
St. Giles, Cripplegate, where the Rev. Prebendary Barff, 
Vicar, kindly acted as guide. 

19TH November. Meeting at the Parish Church Hall, when 
Leland L. Duncan, Esq., m.v.o., f.s.a., a Vice-President 
of the Society, gave a Lecture entitled "An Archaeological 
Holiday in Kent," illustrated by specially prepared slides 
from Mr. Duncan's own photographs. 

( iS) 

lOTH December. Meeting at the Parish Church Hall, when 
Lewis C. Thomson, Esq. lectured upon "A Glimpse of 
Old Cornwall." The illustrative slides were kindly lent 
by Thurston Peter, Esq,. 

The thanks of the Society are due to Mr. E. S. W. Hart 
and Mr. C. A. Spon for working the lantern at the evening 

In the Report for igo6 reference was made to the fact that 
the sum required for the repair of the Colfe Almshouses had 
been collected, and the Council now congratulates the 
Worshipful Company of Leathersellers, the Members of this 
Society, and the inhabitants of Lewisham generally, that the 
picturesque old houses, which Lewisham could so ill afford to 
lose, have been put into a state of efficient repair, and are again 

The hope expressed by the Council in 1904 that arrange- 
ments might shortly be made for the publication in permanent 
form of Mr. Duncan's lecture upon "Old Lewisham," has 
hitherto been impossible of fulfilment owing to lack of funds. 
The increase in the annual subscription, however, has now 
enabled the Hon. Treasurer to accumulate a larger balance. 
Moreover, during the past year the Council has been in con- 
sultation with the Committee of the Lewisham Municipal 
Association, which has voted a substantial grant towards the 
object in view. The book is now in process of preparation by 
Mr. Duncan, and the Council hopes to issue it, adequately 
illustrated, to all Members of the Society within the present 

The number of members upon the roll of the Society is 
now 124. 

JOSEPH W. BROOKES, H071. Secretary. 

14th January, igoS. 

( 19) 

Cope of tU auDitcD ^Balance Sbects of tbe Xewisbam antiquarian 
Socictg, from 1902 to 1907. 

1902. ^ s. d. 

Balance broug-ht forward 18 18 3 

Subscriptions ... .• 22 4 o 

Balance on Excursions ... 1 7 n 

£42 10 2 


1902. £ 

Printing '9 

Postage and Stationery 3 
Hire of Hall, Expenses of 

Meetings, etc 7 16 10 

Balance >i 06 

£42 10 2 

Balance brought forward 
Sale of Periodicals 

£22 .7 6 


Postage and Stationery 
Hire of Hall, Expenses of 

Meetings, etc. ... 
Loss on Excursions 

7 J3 

7 » 
17 10 

£22 17 6 

1904. £ 

Balance brought forward 5 

Subscriptions 20 


s. d. 
17 10 
7 6 

^26 17 2 


Postage and Stationery 
Hire of Hall, Expenses of 

Meetings, etc. ... 
Purchase of Lantern 

£ s. d. 

3 15 6 
2 I 9 

o I 9 
6 14 o 


£26 17 2 

1905. £ s. d. 

Balance brought forward 442 

Subscriptions ... ... 12 12 6 

Excursions 3 3 ^ 


Printing, etc. 
Postage and Stationery 
Hire of Hall and Expenses 

of Meetings, etc. 

£ s. d. 





I s. d. 

13 17 6 

2 15 9 

£^9 17 9 

1906. ;^ S. d. 

Printing', etc. ... ... 420 

Po-stage, Stationery, etc. 1 8 4 

Hire of Hall and Expenses 

of Meetings, etc. ... 8 19 5 

Donation to Colfe's .Alms- 
houses ... ... ... 220 

Balance ... ... 360 

£^9 17 9 



£ ^- d- 


18 50 

8 6 

£21 19 6 

Printing, etc. 
Postage and Stationery 
Hire of Hall and Expenses 

of Meetings, etc. 

8 13 I 
7 .9 8 

l2i 19 6 

IRules of tbe Societi?. 

1. The objects of the Society are to study, and, as far as practicable, 
to record Antiquities, with special regard to the Parish of Lewisham. 

2. The Society shall have for Officers : a President, Vice-Presidents, 
twelve Members of the Council, Honorary Secretary, and Honorary 
Treasurer, elected at the .'\nnual Meeting in each year. The President, 
Vice-Presidents, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, and nine 
Members of the Council shall be eligible for re-election. 

3. Members shall be elected by the Coimcil. 

4. The Annual Subscription shall be 5s., payable on the ist January. 
A Member may commute the 5s. for life, by payment of two guineas. 

^. The Annual Meeting shall he held in January. 

6. Rules may be altered or rescinded, and Members excluded, at 
General Meetings called for the purpose by the Council, 

(2. ) 

2)iar^ of puoceeOinas, 1897*1907. 

Continued from the Volume of Proceedings, iHg6, Pas^c n 


1897. 3rd April. Meeting at St. Bartholomew-the-Great, 

Smithfield, under E. A. Webb, Esq. 
29th May. Meeting at Pulborough and Hardham 
Priory, under R. Garraway Rice, Esq., 


7th Dec. Meeting in the Parish Church Hall, Lewis- 
ham. — Lecture by A. R. Goddard, Esq., 
on the Margate Grotto and its Shell 

1898. 25th Jan. Thirteenth General Meeting. — Address by 

the President, P. W. Ames, Esq., f.s.a., 
on the Poetry and Science of Archfeology ; 
and Exhibition of Objects of Antiquarian 

22nd Feb. Papers by J. Lewis Andre, Esq., f.s.a., on 
Heraldry in English Monumental .Art ; 
and by R. Garraway Rice, Esq., f.s.a., 
on the Capture of the Ship, "St. Paul," 
in Cuckmere Bay, by a French Privateer, 
in May, 1747. 

22nd Mar. Lecture by Herbert Jones, Esq., f.s.a., on 
the Excavations at Silchester. 

14th May. Meeting at Southfleet, Kent. 

i6th July. Meeting at Horsham, under J. Lewis Andre, 
Esq., f.s.a. 

15th Oct. Meeting at Norfolk College, Greenwich. — 
Paper upon the College and its Founder, 
the Earl of Northampton, by C. A. 
Bradford, Esq. 

6th Dec. Lecture by W. Sl.\ter, Esq., on the Abbeys 
of England : their Rise and Fall. 

1899. 31st Jan.- Fourteenth General Meeting. — Lecture by 

the President, P. W. Ames, Esq., f.s.a., 
on the Archaeology of Egypt. 

14th Mar. Papers on Mazes on \'illage Greens, by 
W. E. Bali., Esq., ll.d. ; on a View of 
Ladywell, circa 1820, by C. A. Bradford, 
Esq., F.R.s.L. ; on the Round Towers of 
Greece, by the President, Percy W. 
Ames, f.s.a.; and on a Schedule of 

Ancient Buildings in London for the 
London County Council, by Leland L. 
Du^XAN, Esq., f.s.a. 

1st July. Meeting at Eltham, under Oswald Barron, 

29th July. Meeting- at Tonbridge, under Alfred L. 
Hardy, Esq. 

5th Dec. Paper on the Medicinal Wells of London, 
with special reference to Sydenham. 

1900. i6th Mar. Fifteenth Annual General Meeting. — Ad- 

dress by R. Garraway Rice, Esq , f.s.a., 
on Rambles of an Antiquary, in West 
24th Mar. Meeting in the Chapel of St. Etheldreda, 
Ely Place, and visit to the Soane Museum. 

27th Mar. Lecture by P. M. Johnstone, Esq , on Low 
Side Windows. 

2 1 St April. Visit to Newgate Prison. 
9th June. Visit to Bexley, under Alfred L. Hardy, 

23rd June. Visit to St. Albans, under Joseph W. 

Brookes, Esq. 
2ist July. Visit to Stone and Swanscombe, under H. 

Stopes, Esq. 
13th Nov. Lecture by Professor Romesh Dutt, c.le., 
F.R.S.L., on the Great Indian Epics. 

4th Dec. Lecture by Walter Slater, Esq., on the 
Canterbury Pilgrims. 

1901. 1 2th Feb. Sixteenth Annual General Meeting.— Ad- 

dress by the President, Dr. W E. Ball, 
on Education in the First Centuries of the 
Christian Era, and Notes on the Origin of 

1 2th Mar. Lecture by W. J. Hardy, Esq., entitled 
" English History on Parchment and 
4th May. Visit to Knole House, Sevenoaks. 
8th June. Visit to Penshurst Place. 
17th Aug. Visit to Mote House, Ightham. 
30th Nov. Visit to Gray's Inn, under Dr. W. E. Ball. 

3rd Dec. Lecture by H. C. Richards, Esq., k.c, 
F.S.A., M.P., on Old London, 

( 23 ) 

IQ02 7th Tan. Paper bv E. W. Brabrook, Ksq., c.b., f.s.a., 
^ • ' 0,1 Medifeval Lavatories ; and Lecture by 

George C. Drice, Esq., on Fonts and 
their Sculptures. 

28th Tan. Seventeenth General Meeting.— Address by 
Dr. W. E. Ball, President, on Under- 
ground Greenwich. 

2>th Feb. Papers by A. R. Goddard, Esq., on Nine 
Men's Morris; Herbert Jones, Esq., f.s A., 
on the Roman Remains in Greenwich 
Park; and Leland L. Duncan, Esq., f.s.a., 
on Glimpses of Lewisham in the 14th 

nth Mar. Papers by Leland L. Dlncan, Esq., f^s.a , 
(i) on an attempt in 161 4 to enclose West- 
wood Common ; {2) on an Unpublished 
Letter to the Rev. Abraham Colfe, dated 
1642 ; and (3) on an Action by the Rev. 
Abraham Colfo, in 1653, to Recover Tithes. 

2ist June. Visit to Cobham Hall. 

i^2th Nov. Lecture by A. D. Webster, Esq., on Green- 
wich Park. 
i^thNov. Meeting at Greenwich, under Gifford 
' Hooper, Esq., and A. D. Webster, Esq. 

iQO" 27th Jan. Eighteenth General Meeting Lecture by 
190J. 27in ja Charles Welch, Esq., Guildhall Librarian, 

on the Ancient Guilds of the City of London. 
24th Feb. Paper by George C. Druce, Esq., on the 

Catacombs of Rome, 
xoth Mar. Papers by H. Chettle, Esq , m.a., entitled 

.•Words"; and P. M. Johnstone, Esq., 

upon the Wall Paintings in Claverley 

4th April. Visit, under A L- Hardy, Esq., to Crosby 

Hall, and the Churches of St. Helen, 

Bishopsgate, St. Andrew Undershaft, and 

St. Olave, Hart Street. 
9th May. Visit, under J. H. Porter, Esq., to Lingfield. 
6th June. Visit, under Gifford Hooper, Esq., to 

Merstham and Chaldon. 

i2th Nov. Papers by J. W. Brookes, Esq.. on Samuel 

i2th INov. P >^Jj St. Olave's, Hart Street ; and 

by Herbert Jones, Esq., f.s.. a on the 

Roman Remains at Caerwent, Silchester, 

and the Site of Newgate Prison, 


8th Dec. Paper by Leonard May, Esq., on the 
Architecture of our Parish Churches. 

1904. 26th Jan. Nineteenth General Meeting. — Dr. W. E. 

Ball, President, read a paper on the Con- 
nection of Lewisham and Greenwich with 

23rd Feb. Address by Leland L. Duncan, Esq., 
M.V.O., F.S.A., on Lewisham and Black- 
heath in days gone by. 

22nd Mar. Address by H. Jones, Esq., f.s.a., on the 
Roman Wall from Newcastle to Carlisle. 

1 2th April. Lecture by Douglas Strutt, Esq., on 

nth June. Meeting at Guildford, under Douglas 
Strutt, Esq. 

gth July. Meeting at Chislehurst, under E. A. Webb, 
Esq., F.S.A. 

29th Oct. Visit, under A. L. Hardy, Esq., to the 
Churches of St. Magnus and St. Dunstan- 
in the-East, and the Hall of the Bakers' 
Company, etc. 

15th Nov. Leland L. Duncan, Esq., m.v.o., f.s.a., 
repeated his Lecture upon Old Lewisham 
and Blackheath. 

13th Dec. Lecture by R. Garraway Rice, Esq., f.s.a., 
on the City of York, and some fine 
Ironwork at Hampton Court. 

1905. 17th Jan. Twentieth General Meeting. — Lecture by 

Gilbert H. Lovegrove, Esq., on West- 
minster Abbey. 

14th Feb. Lecture, entitled "Pictures in Ecclesiastical 
Architecture," by George C. Druce, Esq. 

14th Mar. Lecture by Leonard M. May, Esq., on 
English Monumental Brasses. 

6th May. Meeting at Brasted and Sundridge, under 
J. H. Porter, Esq. 

3rd June. Meeting at West Wickham and Hayes. 

29th June. Whole Day Meeting at Maidstone, under 
F. W. Nunn, Esq. 

30th Sept. Meeting in Southwark Cathedral. 

7th Nov. Lecture by Andrew Oliver, Esq.,F.R.i.B.A., 
entitled "A Ramble in Old London," 


5th Dec. Lecture by Philip H. Newman, Esq., i-.s.A., 
R.B.A., K.R.S.L., "Art Recollections of a 
Tour in Spain." 

1906. i6th Jan. Twenty-first General Meeting. — Lecture on 

"The Coming of Age of the Lewisham 
Antiquarian Society," by the President, 
Sir E. W. Brabrook, c.b., f.s.a. 

13th Feb. Lecture by Dr. A. E. Salter, "The Anti- 
quity of Man in Northern Kent and 

13th Mar. Lecture on "The Cathedrals of England 
and Wales," by Douglas Strutt, Esq. 

i8th May. Meeting at Ingatestone and other places in 
Essex, under J. H. Porter, Esq. 

16th June. Meeting, under L. C. Thomson, Esq., at 

22nd Sept. Meeting, under Douglas Strutt, Esq., at 
Waltham, Essex. 

20th Nov. Lecture by the Rev. W. Chynoweth Pope, 
entitled "In the Italian Boot." 

nth Dec. Lecture, entitled "Church Notes in Kent," 
by Leland L. Duncan, Esq., m.v.o., f.s.a. 

1907. 15th Jan. Twenty-second General Meeting. — Lecture, 

by Sir E. W. Brabrook, c.b., f.s.a., on 
"The Progress of Antiquarian Research." 

19th Feb. Lecture by C. A. Spon, Esq., on "A Visit 
to Cracow." 

1 2th Mar. Paper, by George C. Druce, Esq., on 
"Animal Sculptures in Church Archi- 
i6th April. Paper, on "Early Man in Devon," by Lewis 
C. Thomson, Esq. 
8th May. Whole day meeting in Tunbridge Wells and 
neighbourhood, under J. H. Porter, Esq. 

8th June. Meeting, under L. C. Thomson, Esq., at 

5th Oct. Visit to the Churches of St. John, Clerken- 

vvell and St. Giles, Cripplegate. 
19th Nov. Lecture by Leland L. Duncan, Esq., m.v.o., 

F. s. A. , entitled "An Archaeological Holiday 

in Kent." 
10th Dec. Lecture, "A Glimpse of Old Cornwall," by 

L. C. Thomson, Esq. 


Xist ot /Ifteinbers. 

Ames, Percy VV., Esq., ll.d., f.s.a., 71 Lewisham Park. 
Ames, Mrs. P. W., 71 Lewisham Park. 
Arnold, Frank T., Esq., 82 London Street, Greenwich. 
Atkins, Frederic, Esq., 7 Slaithwaite Road. 
AVEBURY, Lord, 6 St. James' Square, S.W. 

Baker-Beall, Charles H., Esq., 30 Manor Park, Brockle)-. 

Ball, William E., Esq., ll.d., Chartfield Cottage, The Chart, Brasted. 

Ball, Mrs. W. E., Chartfield Cottage, The Chart, Brasted. 

Bannehr, William J., Esq., 7 Glensdale Road, Brockley. 

Bannerman.W. Bruce, Esq., f.s. a., The Lindens, Sydenham Road, Croydon. 

Barr, Miss Jessie A., 12 Lewisham Park. 

Battye, Miss, I Albacore Crescent. 

Bell, Joseph M., Esq., 380 High Street. 

Belshaw, Edward, Esq., i.s.o., 49 Lee Terrace, Blackheath. 

Biddiscombe, J. R., Esq., Elmington, 91 Eltham Road, Lee. 

Blandford, W. Ffolliott, Esq., 35 Gimterstone Road, West Kensington, 

Brabrook, Sir Edward W., c.b., f.s.a., v.p.a.i., v.p.r.s.l., 178 Bedford Hill. 

Balham, S.W. 
Bradford, Charles A., Esq., f.s.a., 4 Park Place, S.W. 
Bristow, The Rev. Canon, M.A., St. Olave's, Eliot Park. 
Brookes, Joseph W., Esq., Pembroke Lodge, Slaithwaite Road. 
Brookes, Mrs. J. W., Pembroke Lodge, Slaithwaite Road. 
Brown, Ernest D. H., Esq., 49 Sandrock Road. 
-Byrne, John M., Esq., Bracklyn, Bromley Road, Catford. 

COLLETT, Albert J., Esq., l.d.s., 181 Hither Green Lane, Lewisham. 
Collett, Mrs. A. J., 181 Hither Green Lane, Lewisham. 
Crapp, William A., Esq., 35 Westmount Road, Eltham. 

Dando, Miss Ann, 31 Crescent Road, Brockley. 

Dartmouth, The Right Hon. The Earl of, 37 Charles Street, W. 

Davis, Henry T., Esq., 115 Lewisham Road. 

Deverell, Frederick H., Esq., 7 Grote's Place, Blackheath. 

Dewick, Joseph, Esq., 59 Clarendon Road. 

Dewick, Miss, I Dartmouth Grove, Blackheath. 

Dewick, Miss Katherine, 59 Clarendon Road. 

DoBELL, Mrs., Sherard House, Eltham. 

Dodd, Percy, Esq., Lulworth, Eastern Road, Brockley. 

Dodge, Rev. William, b.a., St. Stephen's Vicarage, Tabard Street, S.E. 

Drew, Alfred p., Esq., St. Andrew's, Lingards Road. 

Duncan, Lelanu L., Esq., m.v.o., f.s.a., Rosslair, Lingards Road. 


Eames, Rev. John, m.a., The Briars, Lingards Road. 
Earl, S., Esq., Grassmount, Queen's Road, Forest Hill. 
Emmerson, Mrs. J., 55 Court Hill Road. 

Fountain, Frederick, Esq., 44 Grooms Hill, Greenwich. 

Galzini, Mrs., 10 Rosenthal Road, Catfortl. 

Glover, Miss A. C, 20 Limes Grove. 

Godfrey, Walter H., Esq., 8 Glebe Place, Chelsea, S.W. 

GOODCHILD, Miss E. M., 67 Tyrwhitt Road, Brocklej-. 

Gordon, Mrs., 9 St. Germans Place, Blackheath. 

Guv, Albert L., Esq.,, Rostrevor, Lewisham Park. 

Hardy, Alfred L., Esq., 40 Tyrwhitt Road, Brockley. 

Hardy, Edw.vrd, Esq., l.c. p., Bloomfield House, Bromley Road, Catford. 

Haslehurst, a. C, Esq., 72 Burnt Ash Hill, Lee. 

Hiscox, Arthur W., Esq., 2;^ Slaithwaite Road. 

Hitchcock, Walter M., Esq., Mayfield, Orchard Road, Blackheath. 

Hodgetts, William, Esq., f.r.s.l., 16 Manor Park, Lee. 

Holmes, T. Vincent, Esq., f.g.s., 28 Crooms Hill, Greenwich. 

Hough, Rev. Canon William W., The Vicarage. 

Humphreys, John H., Esq., 107 Algernon Road. 

Jones, Herbert, Esq., f.s.a., 42 Shooters Hill Road, Blackheath. 

Karlowa, Mrs., The Hollies, 39 Avenue Road. 

Kennedy, Arthur, Esq., 78 Tyrwhitt Road, Brockley. 

Keys, Roberts., Esq., Whamcliffe, 237 Devonshire Road, Honor Oak Park. 

Kibble, Miss, The Laurels, Ravensbourne Park, Catford. 

Kibble, Miss A., The Laurels, Ravensbourne Park, Catford. 

KiRBY, Herbert C, Esq., The Hollies, Copthorne, Sussex. 

Lewis, Major H. Duncan, Llanwame, Belmont Park, Lee. 

Lewis, Percy P., Esq., 41 Manor Park, Lee. 

Lichfield, The Lord Bishop of, d.d.. The Palace, Lichfield. 

LoNGSDON, Rev. W. Hook, M. A., The Vicarage, St. Andrew's, Stockwell,S.W. 

Luc.\s, Frank W., Esq., m.a.,, Ferndale, Westcombe Park, Blackheath. 

McEwEN, Hugh D., Esq., 24 Lanier Road. 

McPhail, Angus, Esq., 6 Weigall Road, Lee. 

McPhail, Mrs. A., 6 Weigall Road, Lee. 

Major, Joseph M., Esq., 213 High Street. 

M.^Y, Leonard M., Esq., 60 Shooters Hill Road, Blackheath. 

Mercer, Willia.m J., Esq., 12 Marine Terrace, Margate. 

MOFFETT, H., Esq., 3 Marlborough Road, Lee. 

Morris, Miss, 59A Algiers Road. 

Mote, Fred, Esq., m.a., ll.b., 17 Lansdown Road, Lee. 


OxENHAM, Edward H,, Esq., f.r.s.i.., Keston, Rusliey Green, Catford. 

Pakeman, Miss Mary, 2 Morley Road. 
Porter, James H., Esq., 103 High Road, Lee. 
Porter, Mrs. J. H., 103 Hig-li Road, Lee. 
Powell, Charles, Esq., 70 Brockley Road, S.E. 

Rice, R. Garraway, Esq., f.s.a., 2^ Cyril Mansions, Prince of Wales 
Road, S.W. 

Richardson, Percy, Esq., 50 Oxford Gardens, W. 

Richardson, Percy, Esq., 163 Algernon Road, Lewisham. 

Ri-'CKER, Frederick G., Esq., 4 V'anbrugh Terrace, Blackheath. 

Rudd, Robert W., Esq., Queen's Road, Clock House, Beckenham. 

Rudd, Mrs. R. W., Queen's Road, Clock House, Beckenham. 

Sadler, Fra.nk, Esq., 18 Boyne Road. 

Salnders, James E., Esq., j.p., f.s.a., f.g.s., f.l.s., Chelvistone, Ellhani 

Road, Lee. 
Sainders, Martin L., Esq., a.r.i.b.a., 13 Blessinij-ton Road, Lee. 
Sinkler, Edward C, Esq., 55 Clarendon Road. 
Spon, Charles A., Esq., 5 Blandford Road, St. Albans. 
Staines, Arthur J., Esq., 50 Vicar's Hill. 
Stiles, Mrs. F. M., 35 Westmount Road, Elthani. 
Stone, John M., Esq., m.a., 5 St. Germans Place, Blackheath. 
Stone, George, Esq., 6 Demiody Gardens. 
Stone, Miss Florence, 6 Demiody Gardens. 
Straw, Edwin H., Esq., Eweline, Bromley Road, Catford. 

Thomson, Lewis C, Esq., 2 Granville Park. 
Thlrgood, Ernest C, Esq., 223 High Street. 

Waterer, W. J., Esq., 185 Upper Thames Street. 

Watts, J. Nixon, Esq., ^2 St. Margaret's Square, Brockley. 

Weekes, Miss Mary, 2 Eliot Cottages, Blackheath. 

Wheeley, Arthlr T., Esq., 29 Medusa Road, Catford. 

White, \\\ Llewellyn, Esq., 22 High Street. 

Wickham, Willl\m, Esq., Swiss Cottage, Dacre Park, Lee. 

Witherden, Mrs., 2 Morley Road. 

Wright, Edmind H., Esq. ,Hunmanby, Coper's Cope Road, New Beckenham 


5 DEC 21 


Ibietorv of tbc Borouob of Xcwisbani. 



Lewisham Chirch, Prior to the Rebiilding in 1774. 

From a water-colour sketch in tHe possession of H. T. Woon, Esq., of HoUington, Sussex. 

CA-^-iA/H c 

of tbe 

Borougb of Xiewisbam, 

Mitb an 3tinerari?, 


Xelanb %. 2)uncan^ ^ / 

^.D.©M jf.s.a. 

Mltb (Ibapters on tbe GeoloQ^ of tbe 2)istvict b? 

m. lb. ©tiffin, 


©n tbe Xocal Hntbortttes b^ H. M. Ibiscoj, 

sometime /IDayov of tbe aBorongb. 

Ptintcs an& PublUbrt b^ Cbaile. «ortb. rbc «lachbcatb press, lon&on, S.E. 



HE story of Levvisham and Lee which is the 
subject of the following pages has been set 
forth with a double object. First and fore- 
most it is an outcome of a desire on the part 
of the members of the Lewisham Municipal 
Association and the Lewisham Antiquarian Society to interest 
their fellow-townsmen in the place in which they live, and, 
secondly, it seemed very desirable that the many changes which 
have taken place in the district within the last half-century 
should be placed on record in a handy form. 

The very large increase in population within the Borough 
area during the above period, with the consequent building of 
new streets, has tended to obscure the historical interest of the 
place, whilst the ever- absorbing power of London has robbed 
the neighbourhood of any local feeling which once prevailed. 
That the claims of its history will ever by themselves rekindle 
that local feeling is not of course to be looked for, but they 
may play their part, and it is with that hope that this book 
has been prepared. 

The outline of the history of the Manors of Lewisham and 
Lee and the subsidiary manors within the area of the Borough 
given by Hasted (Drake's edition) necessarily forms the ground- 
work of the first portion of the historical sections, but this has 
been developed by adding details of the local life and institu- 
tions from the Court Rolls and Rentals of the Manor, from 
the Assize Rolls and other documents in the Public Record 

viii PREFACE. 

The manorial history alone cannot, however, be made to 
tell the story of each part of the Borough, and an Itinerary 
was therefore devised as being the best means of dealing in a 
sequence easily followed with the particular history of each 
locality. The plan selected is that of a walk from Blackheath 
to Bromley Hill, with necessary deviations to Lee, Hither Green, 
Brockley, Perry Hill, and Sydenham. 

Lewisham a little over half-a-century ago consisted of the 
villas round Blackheath, a few shops and cottages in the High 
Street, interspersed with larger houses standing in their own 
grounds, and small hamlets at Perry Hill, Sydenham and 
Southend. There were practically no side roads to the High 
Street, which was unpaved, and the stream with the elm trees 
on its banks down the western side gave it a rural appearance 
not without points of beauty. Lee was a parish of parks and 
farms, the houses being mostly grouped in the Old Road and 
at Lee Green. The Itinerary tells the story of the gradual 
change to the busy town of to-day, and will, it is hoped, give 
a fresh interest to the place even to the dwellers in the newest 

The section dealing with the Geology of the district has 
been kindly contributed by Mr. VV. H. GRIFFIN, Hon. Secretary 
of the Catford and District Natural History Society, who has 
made the subject a special study. Few dwellers in the neigh- 
bourhood are aware how full of interest it is from a geological 
point of view, and how close at hand many of the problems of 
physiography can be studied. 

After the decay of the manorial system came the gradual 
rise of the present Local Authorities, whose history is told by 
Mr. A. VV. HiSCOX, .sometime Mayor of the Borough, on behalf 
of the Lewisham Municipal Association. The number of 
authorities having jurisdiction within the Borough is bewilder- 
ing even to those fairly well acquainted with such matters. 
This section of the book will, it is hoped, tend to a greater 
knowledge of, and interest in, the work of these bodies which 
touch the daily life of the community at every point. In 


drawing up this chapter Mr. Hiscox had the advantage of 
access to an exhaustive manuscript dealing with the subject, 
compiled by Mr. H. MOTT, Clerk to the Guardians. 

It is a pleasant duty to record here the help given in 
arranging the Itinerary. The recollections of Lewisham about 
1840 sent me by Henrv Wood, Esq., now of Hollington, and 
Mrs. DOHELL, of Eltham, form the groundwork of the story 
of the High Street, whilst many of Mr. Wood's photographs 
taken about 1856-60 are reproduced in the illustrations. To 
Harold C. Lewin, Esq., Steward of the Manor of Lewisham, 
I am indebted for much valuable information regarding the 
manorial property, the old fields, and the Inclosure Award of 
1810. He was also instrumental in bringing to light much 
entirely new matter regarding the Manors of Lee, Bankers, and 
Shroffold. The WOR.SIIIPFUL COMPANY OF Leathersellers 
kindly allowed access to their records and to an interesting 
map of their Lewisham trust property at Perry Hill and Lower 
Sydenham, dated 1723. To the ViCAR and CHURCHWARDENS 
I am indebted for access to the Tithe Books and Map of the 
Parish of Lewisham dated 1845, whilst the BOROUGH AUTHORI- 
TIES at the Town Hall have been ever ready to answer any 
enquiries. My special thanks are also due to W. H. NuNN, Esq., 
of Lee, who very kindly photographed many of the engravings 
reproduced in these pages ; to J. Cabban, Esq., for permitting 
copies to be taken from the Kadwell collection in his possession ; 
and to other friends who have assisted with information or sug- 

In dealing with a mass of facts, names and dates such as 
are contained in the Itinerary, it is too much to hope that no 
inaccuracies will be found, althougli every effort has been made 
to verify all statements. I would ask that any necessary cor- 
rections may be sent to me in order that a record may be 
kept of them for future editions. 

One more word. It was of the essence of the scheme 
under which this book has been published that its price should 
bring it within the reach of all. The number of pages had 


therefore to be limited, and exigencies of space have forbidden 
any elaboration. I would ask my fellow townsmen's indulgence 
if, in my desire to leave as few spots in the Borough unnamed 
as possible, the result seems more like a catalogue than a 
readable history. 





In addition to those referred to above. 

Hasted' s History of Kent: Hundred of Blackheuth. Edited by 
H. H. Drake. 

Court Rolls of the Manor of Lewisham (Edward I, II, III, and 
Henry V). Public Record Office, ~~-^ 

Rental of the Manor (Edward II). Public Record Office, Rental 
No. 360. 

Court Rolls of Lee, Bankers, and Shroffold. Messrs. Newton, 
Lewin & Levett. 

Wills of Former Residents, 1440 to 1600. Rochester Consistory 
Court and Prerogative Court of Canterbury at Somerset 

Pla)i of Lewishatn, taken from John Rocque's Survey, 1741 to 1745. 

History of Lee. By F. H. Hart, 1882. 

Bulletins de V Acadeinie Royale des Sciences et Belles Lett res de 
Bruxelles, 1842 (Tome ix, i'''^ partie). 

Messager des Sciences Historiques de Belgique, 1842. Precis anali- 
tiques des documents historiques concernant les relations de 
I'ancien comt^ de Flandre avec I'Angleterre, conserves aux 
archives de la Flandre Orientale. Par Jules De Saint 


PART 1. 




1. The "SoLin" Geology 

II. The Si'i'ERFiciAi. Geology 

1. Early History to A.D. 1300 . - - - 17 

II. The Fourteenth ani5 Fifteenth Centuries - 28 

HI. Fro.m the Sixteenth Century to the Present 

Tlme - - - 39 


1. Fro.m Blackheath to the Clock Tower - - 57 

11. .\n Itiner.ary Through Lee . - - - 85 

III. F-RO.M the Clock Tower to the Vicarage - 96 

IV. The Vicar.vge, Laoywell, Brockley .wn Honor 

Oak -------- 

V. The Parish Church to Rushey Green - - 118 

VI. Catfori), Perry Hh.l ano F"orest Hill - - 14° 

VII. Sydenham -------- 148 

VIII. Sangley, Bellingiiam and Southenh - - 15.^ 



Xi»t ot 3llu5tratioiis. 

Note. — The blocks of illustrations marked * have been lent by the Abraham 
Colfe Club, the remainder (except ^8) have been provided at the 
expense of the Leivisham Municipal Association. 
Plate Page 

Levvishani Church, prior to 1774. From a copj', in the possession 
ofH. T. Wood, Esq., of a water-colour drawing- formerly in 
the Beresford Hope Collection* .. ... ... Frontispiece 

1. Section of Thanet Sand in Belmont Hill. From a photograph ... 3 

2. Section of Woolwich Beds at Belmont Hill. From a photograph 4 

3. Fossilized Bones found on the Forster Estate at Catford. From 

a photograph ... ... ... ... ... ... ... g 

4. Bones and Flint Implements from the Upper Ravensbourne 

Valley. From a photograph ... ... ... .. ... 11 

5. Eoliths from Flood-drift at Belmont Hill. From a photograph 15 

6. View of a Water Mill at Lewisham. From an engraving 

published by Carringlon Bowles, 1777. From a copy in 
possession of J. Cabban, Esq. ... ... .. ... ... 23 

7. Map of Lewisham, 1745. From the Survej' by John Rocque* ... 41 

S. Record in the handwriting of the Rev. Abraham Colfe of the 
Opening of the Grammar .School, 1652. From the original 
in the Library of Colfe's Grammar School* ... ... ... 43 

c). View of Rushey Green (Vue sur le Boulingrin do Rushj- en 
Kent). From an engraving published by Carringtoti Bowles, 
1771. .Add. MS. British Museum, 31979, fol. 236* 45 

10. .V View at Lewisham. Published by Carrington Bowles, 1770. 

From a copy in possession of C. A. Bradford, Esq. ... ... 47 

11. Ditto, ditto ■. 49 

12. A View of Blackheath, looking towards Lewisham. From an 

engraving bv J. Course, c. 1750. From a copy in possession 

of the Lewisham .Antiquarian Sciciety* .. .. ... 51 

13. .A V'iew of Blackheath by Moonlight. From an engraving 

published by Carrington Bowles, 1770, in piis^ession of the 
-Author* ... ... .. ... .. ■ ■• ••• ,^.S 

14. View on Blackheath. From an etching by S. Prout, 1S15, in 

possession of the .Author* ... ... ... ... ••• -f^ 

15. View of Blackheath. From "Blackheath, a Poem," by Noble, 

1810* ^y 

16. The Seat of the late Sir Gregory Page at Blackheath. PVom an 

fengraving published by Harrison & Co., May ist, 1783 ... 65 


Plate Page 

17. View from Lewisham Hill, looking towards Lee. From a drawing- 

by T. M. Baynes, printed by C. Hulhnandel and published 

by D. Walther, Brydg-es Street, Covent Garden, 1823* ... 67 

18. View from Lewisham Hill. From Noble's Poem on Blackheath, 

i8io» 69 

19. The Gravel Fits at the top of Lewisham Hill. From a drawing- 

by T. M. Baynes, printed by C. HuUmandel and published 

b\- D. Walther, Brydges Street, Covent Garden, 1823* ... 71 

20. View from Lewisham Hill. Ditto* ... ... ... ... ... 73 

21. Colfe's Grammar School, Garden Front, 1887. Showing part of 

the House as erected by the Rev. Abraham Colfe, 1652. 
From a photograph * ... . . ... ... 75 

22. Colfe's Grammar School, 1831. From the Frontispiece to the 

Catalogue of the Library, by W. H. Black, 1831* 75 

23. The "Plough" Inn, about 1820. From a painting engraved in 

the " London and County Journal '■ ... ... ... 76 

24. The "Plough" Inn, about 1840. From a water-colour drawing 

in the possession of W. H. Xunn, Esq — ... .. ... 77 

2s. The "Old Roebuck" and the Plough Green. From a drawing 
by J. R. Bowring, dated 1810, now in the possession of 
Mrs. Stephen Williams, Penrally, Rhayader, Radnorshire* 78 

26. The " Roebuck " Inn, about 1S30. From a billhead in possession 

of W. H. Nunn, F.sq. 79 

27. Old Lewisham Bridge, looking towards Loampit \"ale. F"rom a 

drawing by J. R. Bowring, dated 9th September, 1810, now 

in the possession of Mrs. Stephen Williams* .. ... ... 80 

28. View of Messrs. Lee's House, &c.. Loam Pit Hill, Kent, 1824. 

From a lithograph by C. T. Cracklow, Surve3'or, i Crane 
Court, Fleet Street, iii pos.session of the Author ... ... 82 

29. The Cage, Lewisham, about 1840. From a sketch published in 

the " London and County Journal," 19th January, 1893 ... 84 

30. The Stocks, Lewisham. Ditto 84 

31. Lee Bridge House. Frcm an old photograph in possession of 

W. H. Nunn, Esq ... 86 

32. "Lee Grove" ("The Cedars '). From a drawing by T. J. 

Rawlins, lithographed b\- R. Martin and published in 
Greenwood's "Epitome of the History of Kent," 1838 ... 88 

33. Lee Rectory and Church, 1841. From an engraving published 

by Geo. Childs, 12 Amwell Street, Claremont Square ... 89 

34. The Old Church, Lee, North Side. From a water-colour 

drawing, about 1800, in possession of the Author ... ... 90 

35. Lee Church. From an engraving published 1809 by S. Wood- 

burn, 1 12 St. Martin's Lane, London ... ... ... ... 91 


Plate Page 

36. Boone's Old Almshouses, High Road, Lee. Froiii a photograph 93 

37. The Seat of the late Lord Dacre, Lee. From an engraving b\- 

R. Newman ... ... ... ... 94 

38. Mr. .Alleirs House, High Street, Lewisham. From an old photo- 

graph in possession of the late Mrs. Whomes.. ... ... 96 

39. Mr. William Allen's House, on site of Avenue Road, Lewisham. 

A pencil sketch from memory, by H. T. Wood, Esq. ... 97 

40. College Farm House, about i860. From a water-colour sketch 

in possession of the late Mr. Clark, the last occupant ... 98 

41. The Old "White Hart" Inn, about 1870. From a photograph 99 

42. Old Houses near the "White Hart." From a photograph by the 

Author., ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ., 100 

43. "The Limes." From an engraving in the "Youths' Instructor,'' 

■835 101 

44. The High .Street, Lewisham, opposite Morley Road. From a 

photograph by H. T. Wood, Esq., taken about i86o ... 103 

45. Old Gabled House on the site of the Congregational Church, 

Lewisham High Street. From drawings from memory by 

H. T. Wood, Esq., and Mrs. Dobell ... ... ... 105 

46. Owen's Shop, 304 High Street, Lewisham, about 1840. From a 

water-colour drawing in possession of Mr. Robert Patch, 
engraved in the "London and County Journal" for 15th 
December, 1894 ... .. ... ... ... ... ... 106 

47. Lewisham House, about 1890. From a photograph ... ... 1 10 

48. Ladywell. From a drawing by Henry Warren, lithographed 

by C. Hullmandel and published in a series of views of the 
Ravensbourne. The block has been kindly lent bv the 
publishers of the " Home Counties Magazine " ... 11 1 



Ladywell Bridge, about 1810. From a sketch in possession of 

H. T. Wood, Esq. ... ... ... 112 

Ladywell Bridge and \'icar's Hill, 1857. F'rom a photograph by 

H. T. Wood, Esq 113 

Ladywell Village, about 1870. From a painting by Mr. David 

Brown... ... ... ... ... ... ••■ ... ... 115 

The "Brocklev Jack" Inn. From a photograph in possession of 

W. H. Nunn, Esq _ ... 117 

\iew of the High Street from the Parish Church southwards. 

about i860. From a photograph by H. T, Wood, Esq. ... 122 

Mr. Pitcher's House (lately Weatherley's), No. 313 High Street, 
Lewisham. From a photograph by H. T. Wood, Esq., 
about i860 '-3 

Cottages formerly opposite St. Mary's Church. From a photo- 
graph by H. T, Wood, Esq., about i860 124 



Plate Page 

^6. Colfe's Almshouses. From a photograph by Rowland L. Hewitt, 

Esq.* "27 

Mr. Woodham's House, High Street (now No. 394). From a 

photograph by H. T. Wood, Esq., about 1857 ... ... 129 

s8. Exchequer Place, High Street, Lewisham. From a photograph 131 

59. View of the High Street, near the "George" Inn, about 1S70. 

From a photograph ... ... ... ... .. -. 132 

60. View of Mount Pleasant House, the Seat of Abraham Constable, 

Esq., 1825. From a lithograph in possession of the Author 134 

61. " The Maples," at the corner of George Lane, about 1830. From 

a drawing by C. Burton, lithographed by P. Simonau, and 
published by C. T. Cracklow, Surveyor, i Crane Court, 
Fleet Street, in possession of the Author ... ... ... 135 

62. The "Elm Tree" Inn, formerly near the Pound, High Street. 

From a photograph ... ... ... ... ... ... i37 

63. "The Priory Farm," Rushey Green. From a photograph in 

possession of the Author ... ... ... ... ... 138 

64. The Lawn View of "The Priory," Lewisham. From a litho- 

graph published by C. T. Cracklow, Surveyor, i Crane 
Court, Fleet Street, about 1835 139 

65. Catford Bridge, about 1835. From a drawing ... ... 142 

66. Place House, Catford, about 1810. From a wash drawing. 

British Museum, .Add. MS. 31,979, fol. 234 143 

67. Place House, Catford. From a drawing by J. C. Barrow, f.s..\., 

engraved by G. J. Parkyns, and published 1791 ... ... 144 

68. Perry Hill House (Manor House). From a drawing by J. 

Brandard, lithographed by R. Martin, and published by 
Greenwood in the "Epitome of the History of Kent," 183.S... 146 

69. The Dwelling of Alexander Roberts, at Sj-denham Wells. From 

an engraving by T. Bonnor, about 1780, in possession of 

the Author 149 

70. The Back of the "Greyhound ' Inn, Sydenham, with the Canal, 

Jul}', 1818. From a pencil sketcli in Add. MS. 31,979, fol. 233, Museum ... ... ... ... ... ... 151 

71. View on the Sydenham Canal. From an engraving by L. 

Lighlfoot, in the possession of J. Cabban, Esq. ... ... 1^2 

72. \'ieu at Southend. From an engraving published bv Carrington 

Bowles, 1770, in possession of J. Cabb^tn, Esq. ... ... [33 


5 "dec" 21 



Zhc IBovouQh of Xewisbani. 

Ube (Beologv? of Xevvisbam aiiD tbe 1ReiGbbourboo^. 

By W. H. Griffin, 

//on. Secretary Catford and District Natural //istory Society. 

HERE is a general impression that no locality 
can possess interesting geological features in the 
absence of exposed masses of fossiliferous rocks. 
This is quite erroneous. Fossils are interesting 
objects, and, moreover, they assist in determining 
the geological position of the rocks which contain 
them ; but, apart from fossils, the acquisition of some knowledge 
of the manner in which the present surface configuration of any 
locality has been brought about, and of the nature of the under- 
lying beds, is a fascinating pursuit. 

No metropolitan suburb affords better facilities for such a 
pursuit than Lewisham and the neighbourhood. 

Although we strongly believe in studying objects rather than 
relying entirely upon information gleaned from books ; neverthe- 
less, books are indispensable as tools to work with, and the 
following will be found useful to those who determine to study the 
geology of this district: — 

(i) Huxley's "Physiography," an eminently readable book, 
dealing especially with the London basin and the 
Thames valley. 

(2) Whitaker's "Geology of London," in two vols., price iis. 

(3) Whitaker's "Guide to the Geology of London and the 

Neighbourhood." A useful little handbook, price is. 

(4) The last edition of Sir Charles Lyell's "Students' Elements 

of Geology," edited by Professor Judd. 

(5) Jukes-Browne's "Building of the British Isles." 

(6) Sheet Four of the "Geological Drift Map of the London 

District," price is. 6d. 

There are two methods in which the geology of a stated 
locality may be dealt with: from the surface downwards, or from 
below upwards. For the present purpose the latter will be the 
more convenient. 



The "Solid" Geology. 

I HE lowest formation exposed in our district is the 
chalk which is the uppermost member of the 
Cretaceous system, that system again concluding 
th^Secondary or Mesozoic Geological Period. A 
greyish mud is now in course of deposition on 
the floor of the Nortli Atlantic which is known as 
the Globegerina ooze, the Globegerince being a large genus of the 
order Forattmiifera. Probably this ooze will in some long distant 
future constitute the chalk formation of a yet unborn continent. 

Although most of the neighbouring chalk is protected by the 
overlying Lower Tertiary beds, which will be presently described, 
it is doubtful whether any of it represents the original uppermost 
2one. In Mr. Whitaker's "Guide" mentioned above it is stated 
that the greatest thickness of chalk disclosed by well-borings near 
London is 6S5ft. at Bushey. At Margate a thickness of 704ft. has 
been bored through. We believe that at Dover it reaches i, 000ft. 
It has been estimated that the Globegerina ooze is now being 
deposited at the rate of a foot in a hundred years. If the chalk 
was deposited at the same rate, then 100,000 years was occupied 
in the deposition. 

Many theories have been suggested in regard to the origin 
of the nodular flints which occur in bands in the upper chalk. 
Let it be premised that water charged with carbon-dioxide derived 
from the atmosphere is a powerful solvent. All rivers are con- 
tinually carrying to the sea mineral matter of various descriptions 
held in solution. Carbonate of lime is one such mineral, and with 
it the Foraminifera form their shells. Silica is another mineral 
which is used by the Radiolaria, another order of microscopic 
Protozoa. It is also used by Sponges for their spicula. As- 
suming that the waters of the cretaceous ocean contained at 
alternating periods a preponderance, first of carbonate of lime, 
and then of silica, the Foraminifera or Radiolaria would alternately 
abound. They died in millions, and their tests sunk to the sea 
floor. But the tests were again dissolved, and the silica gathered 
about dead organic matter and nodules of chalk. Atoms of silica 
penetrated the dead organisms and the chalk nodules, and dis- 
placed the carbonate of lime. Thus fossil echinoderms are some- 
times found, consisting mainly of carbonate of lime, and others 
entirely of flint. Tabular flint, of which masses may be seen in 
some of the galleries of the Chislehurst Caves, was probably 
deposited after the chalk had become indurated. Water, charged 
with silica, penetrated between the layers of chalk, and there the 
silica came to rest. From the impress of organic structures some- 
times seen in flint, it is inferred that at an early stage the silica 
formed jelly-like masses, which ultimately became harder than steel. 


Chalk is seen close to the surface in the railway cutting at 
St. John's Station. It also occurs at the surface between the south 
side of Blackheath Hill and the east side of the Lewisham Road, 

We now leave the Secondary and enter the Tertiary or 
Cainozoic Period. This is thrice divided into Eocene (the lowest 
portion), Miocene, and Pliocene. In our district we have only 
to do with the lower Eocene formation, comprising: — (i) The 
Thanet beds ; (2) Woolwich and Reading beds ; (3) Oldhaven and 
Blackheath beds ; (4) The London Clay. The three first-named 
are generally spoken of as the Lower London Tertiaries. 

In our district the Thanet beds are represented by a white 
sand which is a marine formation, and contains in its lower 

Plate 1. 

portion numerous glauconitic granules. Until recent years fine 
sections of this sand existed in the brick-fields off Loampit Hill. 
On the west side of the railway cutting close to the London 
side of St. John's Station, there is a gap in the chalk about 4ft. 
wide, due to a "fault," which is filled in with Thanet sand. In 
the cutting at and near Swanley Junction it is well shown, also in 
a lane at the side of "The Sandrock" Tavern on the Shirley Hills. 
In 1906 the grounds of an old mansion at Belmont Hill were 
laid out as a building estate. In the excavations made for cutting 
out roads a fine section of Thanet sand was disclosed, which is 
shown in Plate i, reproduced from one of a series of photo- 


graphs of sections made for the Photographic Survey of Kent. 
The white cliff behind the human figure at the left of the plate 
is Thanet sand, which should be below the Woolwich beds shown 
on the right. The displacement was occasioned by current action 
at the period of the deposition of the Woolwich beds or by the 
local disturbance mentioned on page 15. The bed of Thanet sand 
exposed was i6ft. wide at the top, and more than 6ft. thick. It 
extended backwards looyds. from the exposed face, and then 
terminated abruptly. Fossils are seldom found in this formation, 
which varies much in thickness in different localities, although it is 
fairly equal in our district. In borings described in Mr. Whitaker's 
larger book mentioned above, the thickness at the former Naval 

Plate 2. 

School at New Cross is stated as 4Hft. At Watney's Brewery, 
Brockley, it is 49ft.; at Lower Sydenham, a little to the south 
of the railway station, 59ft.; at Greenwich Hospital, 55ft.; and at 
Eltham and Shortlands, 49ft. and 48ft. respectively. 

Superimposed on the Thanet beds are the Woolwich and 
Reading beds. W^e will mention them by the former name only 
because, although of similar age in both localities, they differ 
greatly in character. In our district we have red and purple 
mottled clay ; blue, flaky, estuarine clay containing numerous 
shells of Cyrena cuneiforjnis, a bivalve mollusc somewhat like a 
cockle, and blue clay with pebbles. These variations were well 
shown at Belmont Hill. Plate 2 is reproduced from a photograph 


of the Cyrena bed there, which is seen at the lower portion of the 
section behind the two human figures. 

Sixty years ago the brick-fields at Loampit Hill were much 
resorted to by London geologists for obtaining fossil shells and 
plant remains from the Woolwich beds. In 1904-5 excavations 
for sewers were made in a newly-formed road leading through the 
Bromley Park Estate from the foot of Bromley Hill to Ravens- 
bourne Railway Station. Shells of Cyrena cuneiformis were 
turned out in plenty, also a few of Ostrea bellovacma. We ex- 
amined the blue carbonaceous clay frequently in the hope of finding 
imprints of leaves or stems of plants, but only found a solitary 
impression -of the stem of a reed or sedge. 

The following examples of the thickness of the Woolwich 
beds in our district are recorded in Mr. Whitaker's books: — 

New Cross Naval School (Goldsmiths' Institute) 54 ft. 

Brockley .. ... ... ... ... ... 46 ft. 

Lower Sydenham ... ... ... ... ... 46 ft. 

Greenwich Hospital ... ... ... ... 23|ft. 

Eltham 39|ft- 

The Blackheath beds rest upon the Woolwich beds in our 
district. In some localities they are found to be intercalated, and 
occasionally they even rest directly upon the chalk, probably 
because the Woolwich and Thanet beds had been previously 
carried away. Sections of the Blackheath pebbles and sand were 
formerly exposed in pits on the Heath, and on the sides of Black- 
heath Point, but we fear they have all been hidden by turf. Many 
good sections are, however, now visible in new roads on the 
Kinnaird Park Estate to the east of Bromley Hill, and the Bromley 
Park Estate on the West, also between Ravensbourne and Short- 
lands railway stations. The sand contains much oxide of iron, 
and the shells of Ostrea and other mollusca afford lime. This 
mineral matter binds the pebbles, sand and shells into masses 
of conglomerate, which was formerly quarried at Sundridge Park, 
Bromley. On the west side of the main road at the foot of 
Bromley Hill, there is an old garden wall appertaining to an 
isolated cottage, which is composed of blocks of it. Again, nearly 
opposite the Ravensbourne railway station, there is a large excava- 
tion, where masses of it are exposed. Occasionally bands of 
light-coloured sand, free from pebbles, also occur. We have seen 
it exposed on the Kinnaird Park Estate, and in the Eltham Golf- 
ground. In 1905 excavations for sewers were in progress in a 
new road opposite to the approach to Well Hall railway station — 
large masses of the conglomerate were then turned out. In some 
instances they passed into a calcareous sandstone free from 
pebbles. After a few weeks' exposure the surface of this stone 
crumbled to a powder, and some ardent collectors whom we took 
there obtained from it teeth of sharks of various species. 

Our remarks on the "solid" geology of the district will 


conclude with the London Clay, which is the prevalent formation 
exposed at the surface. Inasmuch as there are in the less elevated 
localities tracts of "derived" London Clay generally containing- 
sub-angular flints, it is well to explain that the clay, when in situ, 
is quite free from such stones. True, it rests upon a basement 
bed consisting of a mixture of clay and well-rolled flint pebbles, but 
the mass of it is quite free from them. The large, rounded con- 
cretions frequently found in it are known as septarian nodules, 
because they sometimes contain internally septa, or dividing bands 
of crystalline carbonate of lime. When opportunity offers it is 
worth while to break these septaria with a hammer, because they 
sometimes contain fossils. 

The London Clay being the uppermost of our local Tertiaries, 
it follows that the highest elevations are of that formation. As 
a whole it has been subjected to enormous denudation. At the top 
of the slope in Whitefoot Lane, leading up from Southend Village 
(which slope, by the way, is the east bank of the older Ravens- 
bourne), a good view may be obtained of Shooters Hill, rising 
to 420ft. and of the Crystal Palace, where the elevation is over 
300ft. Both hills are of London Clay. The intermediate gap, 
about 7 miles wide, was undoubtedly also once occupied with 
London Clay rising to at least 500ft. This has all been swept 
away. But the highest point at Shooters Hill does not by any 
means represent the original deposit, because there, also, denuda- 
tion has occurred. It is worth while to spend a few hours in 
exploring the summit of Shooters Hill. The observer will ask,_^ 
Why should this huge pyramid of clay have withstood the in- 
fluences which occasioned the denudation all around? If he has 
used his eyes in approaching the summit by way of the main road 
from Blackheath he will have noticed in roadside banks and 
gardens near the summit numerous water-worn flints, some of 
large size. Then in a narrow alley between the fences of enclosed 
pleasure grounds, that on the west side appertaining to Severn- 
droog Castle, he will see a gravel pit, and through the fence may 
at times discern in the gravel white quartz pebbles. Returning 
to the main road proceed a short distance down the eastern side 
of the hill towards Welling, and take the first turning on the left. 
Examine the bank on the left side of that road. A few years ago 
we dug from it fragments of ferruginous sandstone. From the 
opposite side of the same road there is a newly-formed road. 
When it was in the making we saw there pebbles of jasper and 
quartzite, also numerous large water-worn, pitted flints with a 
specific gravity much exceeding that of ordinary flints. Further 
to the north there is an open piece of grass-land with shallow 
sand pits. The sand varies in colour, but some of it is highly 
ferruginous. Geologists are agreed in thinking that this puzzling 
drift on the top of Shooters Hill came from the former Wealden 
heights far away to the South, but they differ in regard to the 
period of transportation. In Mr. H. B. Woodward's "Geology of 


England and Wales" it is attributed to the Middle Glacial Age, 
but there is a passage in Mr. Jukes-Browne's "Building of the 
British Isles" which appears to bear on the subject. Quoting the 
late Sir Joseph Prestwich, Mr. Jukes-Browne says: "He gives 
good reasons for concluding that at the beginning of the newer 
Pliocene Period the central area of the Weald was a plateau rising 
to a height of nearly 3,000ft. above the sea, and that from its 
watershed streams ran northward and southward. Those which 
ran north swept the debris of the Lower Greensand, Chalk and 
Tertiaries on to the lower ground. It is not unlikely, as Prestwich 
suggests, that these tracts are portions of broad, fan- like, sub- 
aerial deltas, spread out on a plain which then stretched out over 
the Thames Valley." 

It will be understood that the pebbles from igneous rocks, 
which are found at Shooters Hill, were twice "derived," having 
been first transported from the north or west of England, where 
igneous rocks are at the surface, to the Wealden district, and then 
again from the Weald northwards. It is fairly certain that this 
drift has preserved Shooters Hill from the denudation which has 
gone on all around. There is little doubt that the whole of our 
district once had a mantle of at least 500ft. of London Clay, and 
when this is borne in mind, the following records from borings will 
show how great, and yet how inequal, has been the denudation : 

New Cross Naval School (Goldsmiths' Institute) 23 ft. 

Brockley, near the Cemetery ... ... ... 4 ft. 

Lower Sydenham ... ... ... ... ... 102 ft. 

Beckenham ... ... ... ... ... ... i6^ft. 

The sea in which the London Clay was deposited no doubt 
extended over Kent, Surrey, Sussex, part of Hampshire, Essex, 
Suffolk, part of Norfolk, and over part of the German Ocean, 
British Channel, and north western France. The fossils indicate 
the prevalence of a warm climate at the time. As the clay was 
derived from the decomposition of felspathic rocks, the river or 
rivers which brought it to the London Clay-sea must needs have 
passed through regions where such rocks are exposed. Sir 
Charles Lyell thought it was a large river which drained a con- 
tinent lying to the west or south-west of Britain. Other geologists 
have thought that the sediment was brought by several rivers 
from land lying to the south. 

As we now take leave of the clays, it will be well to say some- 
thing as to the distinction between brick-earth, a term frequently 
used in " superficial " geology, and the Tertiary clays. 

Bricks have for years been made at Loampit Hill and Brockley 
of London Clay and the clays of the Woolwich beds ; hence people 
sometimes speak of such clays as brick-earth. But brick-earth, in 
the language of geology, is a superficial deposit of stiff loam, 
sometimes clayey and sometimes sandy, which has arisen from 
sediment left by the overflowing of rivers. Again, there are in our 


district deposits of "derived" London Clay overlying river gravel 
of Pleistocene age. This is where the river has left its earlier 
bed and wandered, perhaps, half-a-mile away. Then a "hill-wash" 
of London Clay has been brought down by rain-water, and spread 
over the river gravel to a thickness, it may be, of several feet. 
"Derived" material, and fossils derived from old beds and 
deposited by flowing water on recent formations, are frequently 
""booby-traps" which catch the unwary. 

The Superfici.\l Geology. 

)N unsophisticated person once remarked that it was 
a merciful Providence which ordained that a river 
should flow near every large town and city, so that 
the inhabitants were supplied with water. This 
was making the mountain ^o to Mahomet. Joking 
aside, the existence of the Ravensbourne and its 
tributaries must have attracted human beings to our district in 
very early times. The contours of the surface suggest that a lake, 
or chain of lakelets, once occupied the valley-plain through which 
the Ravensbourne and the Pool now flow from between Southend 
and Lower Sydenham to the rising ground which commences near 
the Obelisk at Lewisham. 

It will be convenient to deal first with the Ravensbourne. 
The old village of Lewisham stands upon Ravensbourne gravel, 
but there is evidence that the locality was frequented by men of 
the Stone Age when the gravel was being laid down. 

The first Napoleon is credited with the remark that an "army 
marched upon its belly." Previously to the domestication of 
animals, and the rise of agriculture, the needs of the human 
stomach were supplied by the wild fruits and roots of the forest, 
the fish of the streams, the birds of the air and the beasts of the 
field. These would be most plentiful in well-watered localities. 
We know that 35 years ago a trout of 2lbs. was taken in the 
Ravensbourne at Southend Village. The Thames was a salmon 
river within the historical period. The gravels prove that the 
Ravensbourne was formerly a river of considerable volume, and 
we have no doubt that very ancient Britons once took both salmon 
and trout from its waters. Our memory of the stream fifty years 
ago is that the present volume of water is only about half as much 
as it was then. The diminution in recent times may be accounted 
for by the diversion of water from springs and surface water, which 
formerly found its way to the river, into sewers. 

A reference to the Geological Drift Map will show that just 
above Catford Bridgfe the river-gfravel extends over a width of 



half a mile. Although the Pool now joins the Ravensbourne a 
little above Catford Bridge, an earlier point of junction was slightly 
to the north of Southend Lane. . 

Upon many occasions in 1905-6 we inspected excavations tor 
sewers on different parts of the Sangley Estate in Bt-^mley Road 
The sections exhibited 4ft. of derived London clay (hill- wash) and 
8ft. of river-gravel, containing numerous large water-worn flints, 
resting upon undisturbed London clay. 

Mr Hurdin, assistant surveyor to the Forster Estate, kept a 
look-out for any animal remains which might be unearthed. 

Figures i to 3 on 
Plate 3 represent 
some of them. 
No. I has been 
identified as part 
of a thigh-bone 
of Bos iaurus, the 
great wild ox 
called Urtis by 
Roman historians, 
and which was pro- 
bably the ancestor 
of the famous wild 
cattle still kept 
at Chillingham, 
Nos. 2 and 3 are 
bones of Bos longi- 
froiis, the long 
faced wild ox, sup- 
posed to be the 
ancestor of our 
smaller black cat- 
tle. These bones 
were resting on 
the clay at the 
base of the gravel. 
Attention is es- 
pecially called to 
the fact that one 
condyle of the 
longest bone was 
sawn off. Our first 
impression was that this afforded evidence that the Urus continued 
to exist in Britain at a time when mechanical art was sufticiently 
advanced to permit of the construction of a toothed saw of metal, 
but we subsequently obtained from Ravensbourne gravel at Hayes 
a small saw made from a thin flint-flake by which the operat.on 
mi-ht have been performed. Marrow, extracted from the larger 

Plate 3. 


bones of mammals, has ever been a bonne bouche to primitive 
peoples. It was in most cases obtained by the simple process of 
smashing off the condyles as in figures Nos. 2 and 3, but the longer 
bone fell to the lot of an epicure who preferred to have his marrow 
free from splinters of bone. The bones and horn-cores shown in 
figures 4 to 8 were dug from the gravel by Mr. A. P. Macklin, of 
the Catford and District Natural History Society, when making 
an excavation in his garden in Bargery Road. They probably 
appertained to one or the other of the above-mentioned extinct 
species of ox. 

At Bellingham the altitude of the valley-plain is 70ft. The 
slope on the arable land to the east rises sharply to looft. At 
the top of the ridge which there forms the sky-line a solitary tree is 
seen a little to the north of a wood. On walking from the road 
towards that tree we found that up to the looft. contour line on 
the Ordnance map the clay is strewn with broken water-worn 
flints for which "flood-drift" is a convenient term. Some miles 
higher up the valley, torrential flood-waters from the former 
Wealden heights, cut into the chalk, and tore out the flints, which 
were subsequently fractured and abraded by concussion. Looking 
across the flat on the west, which extends nearly to Perry Hill, the 
tortuous line of the Pool stream is marked by occasional trees on 
its banks. The entire flat is underlain by river-gravel, a proof 
that one or the other of the two streams has at different times 
occupied it. 

At the entrance to Southend Village Whitefoot Lane on the 
east and Southend Lane on the west both rise up slopes which 
once formed the banks of the Ravensbourne. Many years ago we 
were led by reading Huxley's " Physiography " to devote attention 
to local superficial geology. Southend Lane then afforded us so 
much instruction that we regard it as one of the most interesting 
localities in the district. At first we thought it crossed a spur of 
undisturbed London Clay, but when we narrowly examined the 
banks of the roadside ditches, and those of the fields on either side, 
and also the earth turned up by excavations made for posts for 
wire-fencing, we found that the clay everywhere contains broken 
water-worn flints. The elevations are instructive. At the entrance 
to the lane from Southend the elevation is about 75ft. At the 
highest point in the lane it rises to 121ft., and at the Lower 
Sydenham end it descends again to 70ft. Between the Bromley 
Road and the bridge over the railway in the lane, a shallow pit 
was opened in 1906 which exposes about 3ft. of stratified gravel, 
once the bed of the stream. The highest point commences near 
the railway bridge, and extends for more than looyds. This ridge 
is the end of a spur which runs out from the high ground at 
Beckenham and forms the water-parting. Below the north side 
of the lane the end of the spur drops into the plain of the united 
valley, and it was here that the junction of the two streams once 
occurred. The water-worn flints in the clay at the highest point 



indicate that flood-waters, if not the actual river, once flowed over 
the ridge. 

Beyond Southend Village a small tributary, which comes as 
a brook through the meadows on the south-east, passes under the 
road. It has its rise in a spring which forms a pond in a meadow 
towards Plaistow. After the water from it has passed under the 
Bromley Road through a pipe it enters a ditch in a meadow 
occupied by Mr. Perry, of the Upper Mill. Into the same ditch 
the water from another spring is conducted by a drain-pipe, and 

Mr. Perry has in- 
formed us that in 
dry seasons the 
volume of water 
from the two 
springs exceeds 
the water brought 
down by the main 
stream. If, there- 
fore, the water from 
these two springs 
had been diverted 
into sewers, as that 
of other springs in 
the neighbourhood 
of Bromley has 
been, the upper 
would have had 
no water in dry 

At the foot of 
Bromley Hill the 
valley turns t o- 
wards the west, and 
may be followed by 
a new road through 
the Bromley Park 
Estate towards 
Ravensbourne rail- 
way station. On 
the Ladies' Golf 
Ground at Ravens- 
bourne there is another shallow pit exhibiting stratified gravel, 
near which we once picked up a small flint implement of primitive 
type closely resembling many which we have obtained on the 
plateau of the North Downs above Otford, Kemsing, etc. The 
figure 1 8 in Plate 4 is reproduced from a photograph of the 
implement referred to. The elevations between Ravensbourne and 
Shortlands are noticeable. The valley-plain stands at 80ft.; 

Plate 4. 


Bromley Hill, which forms the eastern border of the valley rises 
to 20oft. ; on the western border at Beckenham the pebble gravel 
of the Blackheath beds rises to i8oft. A thickness of at least 120ft. 
which once overlaid the valley-plain has therefore been swept away 
by the river. The average width of the valley-plain for a length 
of one mile is a quarter of a mile. By cubing these dimensions 
it will be found that the quantity of material removed per mile has 
been 27,878,400 cubic yards, representing as many tons in weight, 
and this is exclusive of the quantity removed from the slopes on 
either side. 

Throughout the valley, from the foot of Bromley Hill to the 
foot of Westerham Hill, at Cudham, the eastern side rises more or 
less steeply, while the western side presents a gentle slope. 

The geological formation is the same on both sides, and 
we were at a loss to account for the difference in the inclines until 
the discovery of a terrace-gravel, high up on the western slope 
opposite Bromley, proved that the river first ran on that side, and 
afterwards cut its way towards the eastern side. Its final bed, 
while it still remained a river of considerable volume, was close to 
the eastern side of the valley. Therefore the deserted western side 
has had some thousands of years more weathering, which has 
toned down the original steepness of the slope. 

In the lower part of the Bromley Recreation Ground, near 
Shortlands railway station, there was, until quite recent years, a 
small pit exposing the river-gravel, but the local authorities, 
influenced by aesthetic considerations, have had it filled in, and 
turfed over. 

In ascending to the highest point of the Recreation Ground 
the steepness of the slope will be noticed, and at the top the fine 
view of the valley in both directions will be admired. In the road 
outside the lower south-eastern corner of the ground there is a 
notice board indicating a footpath leading to Pickhurst Green. By 
following this, and crossing the railway by a footbridge, a meadow 
is entered with a footpath leading up to the top of the valley. 
Close to the exit from the footpath is a small disused gravel pit. 
The bank at the back of the pit discloses a section made up of 
about 4ft. of sandy brick-earth, resting upon a stratum of river- 
gravel, about a foot thick, which again was laid down upon the 
pebble-gravel of the Blackheath beds. Both sides of the pit 
should be examined, and at some seasons it is necessary to 
scrape away the herbage and sand to obtain a good view of the 

The river-gravel here exposed is 25ft. higher than the valley- 
plain, and about a third of a mile, distant from the present 
attenuated stream where it runs through the Recreation Ground. 

To appreciate the denudation which has occurred since the 
river flowed at this high point, it is necessary to bear in mind that 
it was then the bottom of a valley. Supposing the banks of that 
valley formed a slope similar to the present one, then over the 


present valley-plain there was at least 50ft. of earth which has all 
been carried off. 

Between Bromley and Hayes portions of the valley are of 
difficult access, but Hayes Ford, which is on the high road, is an 
interesting point. 

The old river-gravel there lies in the meadows, etc., on either 
side of the road. On the western side a small stream called the 
Bourne flows in wet seasons. Another small stream comes down 
from the south-east in a ditch passing through meadows. This is 
the overflow from the Keston ponds, which are fed by "Caesar's 
Pool " on Keston Common. The water from this source passes 
under the road through a pipe, and joins that of the Bourne. 

The gravel exposed at the large pit near Hayes railway station 
is a portion of a very large accumulation in that locality. This 
accumulation is attributable to the fact that two rivers formerly 
met there. Before tracing their direction, attention must be 
directed to the character of the deposit exposed in the pit. If this 
had lain in the direct channel of a swiftlj flowing stream the 
material would have been separated and stratified, whereas it is a 
confused mixture of water-worn flints, which vary greatly in size, 
rolled Lower Tertiary pebbles, and silt. Some of the flints weigh 
as much as iSlbs., and large ones occur high up in the gravel. A 
clear section shows about ift. of surface mould and 12ft. of gravel, 
which rests upon about 8ft. of white Thanet sand. Below the 
latter is the usual layer of green-coated unworn flints, resting 
upon the chalk. The elevation at the pit is about 210ft. About a 
quarter of a mile away, at Wickham Court, the Thanet sand is at 
the surface at 2Soft. Allowing for the 8ft. of that formation still 
remaining at the pit we find that 62ft. of it has been carried away, 
as well as the whole of the superimposed Woolwich and Blackheath 
beds. The present surface elevation of the latter at the top of 
Coney Hill, West Wickham Common, near by, is 315ft. De- 
ducting 2ioft., the elevation at the pit, it is seen that 105ft. has 
been removed. Having regard to the surface configuration of the 
locality, and the mixed-up nature of the materials forming the 
gravel, we think that the two rivers which met here fell into a 
small lake-basin, and that from the northern end of that lake the 
Ravensbourne issued and formed the valley which extends from 
Hayes Village to the foot of Bromley Hill. 

The existence of a lake-basin also accounts for the accumula- 
tion at the Hayes pit of numerous remains of extinct mammals, 
etc. Unfortunately the gravel does not contain the mineral matter 
necessary to effect perfect fossilisation. Consequently the bones, 
tusks and molar teeth w^hich are frequently turned out are friable, 
and generally fall into fragments when exposed. In 1905 the 
workmen state that they turned out a bone as large as a big man's 
body, which crumbled to fragments. This was probably the femur 
of a Mammoth, or Woolly Rhinoceros. On the 5th January, 1907, 
just as we reached the pit, the men came upon a fine Mammoth's 


tusk. Notwithstanding- the care which they exercised under our 
direction in endeavouring to secure the whole or a large portion of 
the tusk intact, the largest fragment we could obtain was only 
6in. long, 3in. wide and fin. thick, and although this fragment 
was immersed in hot size it very soon fell into small pieces. Some 
of the figures on Plate 4 are photographs of objects obtained 
here. No. 9 represents the disintegrated plates of a molar tooth 
of the Mammoth {Elephas primigenms), Nos. 10 and 11 are 
molars of the great two-horned Woolly Rhinoceros {R. antiquilatis). 
No. 12 a molar of the horse (Equus caballtis), Nos. 13 and 14 were 
too fragmentary for determination, Nos. 15 and 17 are flint im- 
plements. The latter is cut out at the sides of the base to facilitate 
attachment to a shaft, which was probably effected by a bandage 
of raw hide put on when flexible. Such a band if drawn tight and 
beaten down would become quite rigid. No. 16 is an implement 
found on arable land higher up the valley on the western side, 
nearly opposite Keston Church. From the last-mentioned locality 
we also obtained a Neolithic polished implement, 5in. long, 2^\n. 
wide at the broad end, and tapering to a point at the other end. 
Nos. 19 and 20 are two small "fabricators" formed out of Lower 
Tertiary pebbles. One of them came from the Hayes pit, and the 
other from Norhead's Farm, which rises like an island in the 
middle of the valley on the west side of the Westerham Road at 
Biggin Hill, Cudham. 

It now remains to describe, briefly, the courses of the two 
rivers from the foot of Coney Hill. 

The least important of the two came from the direction ot 
Farley and Chelsham, and passed through Addington, along what 
is now the road from that village to Hayes. 

The course of the larger river follows the road which passes 
Coney Hill Farm, and runs below West Wickham and Hayes 
Commons towards Keston Church. On the eastern side of that 
road the border of the valley rises steeply, and exhibits old river 
terraces at several points. On the same side, near the foot of Fox 
Hill, there is a disused gravel pit exhibiting large water-worn 
flints. The river here also, as at the Hayes pit, cuts deeply into 
the Thanet sands. Nodules of iron pyrites have been found at 
this pit which were probably brought from the Gault or Lower 
Greensand formation during the planing down of the former 
Wealden heights. The arable land on the western slope is strewn 
with water-worn flints up to an elevation of 40ft. above the road, 
and for a distance of nearly half a mile from it, and here numerous 
palaeolithic implements, and the cores from which the flint-flakes 
were struck, have been found. After passing the foot of Fox Hill 
the valley turns towards the west, and after passing through 
Purgatory Bottom it runs southerly, parallel with the Westerham 
Road, to the foot of Westerham Hill, where it branches off into 
several minor terminal valleys. 

The Quaggy stream, which falls into the Ravensbourne near 



Lewisham Bridge, may be dismissed with the remark that it was 
once of sufficient magnitude to lay down a considerable tract of 
gravel in the neighbourhood of Lee Green. 

The stream which formed the valley along which the North 
Kent Railway passes from Blackheath Village to Lewisham, and 
which we believe continued to flow until the railway was made, 
has left small stretches of water which can be seen in the grounds 
of "The Cedars," adjoining the railway. When the building 
estate at Belmont Hill mentioned on page 3 was being laid out 
the sections exposed indicated considerable disturbance, probably 
due to a hill-slide. On the upper portion of the ground next 
Belmont Hill there is an unstratified flood-drift which is shown on 
Plate 2. From it Mr. H. Dixon Hewitt, who, until he went to 
reside in Norfolk, was Registrar of the Catford and District 
Natural History Society, found several flints exhibiting traces of 

Plate 5. 

working. They are shown in Plate 5. We saw the originals, 
and discussed them fully with Mr. Hewitt at the time, and our 
mutual conclusion was that they were Eoliths of the class first 
found by Mr. B. Harrison, of Ightham, on the Kentish North 
Downs, and brought into prominence by the late Sir Joseph 

The stones are greatly abraded, and were probably brought 
by running water from a considerable distance. 

It only remains to refer briefly to surface irregularities of the 
locality bounded by the Ravensbourne and Pool on the east, and 
on the west by the range of London Clay hills extending from 
Peckham to Upper Norwood. A marked feature of this tract is 
the occurrence of numerous small hills of London Clay. No doubt 
it was once part of a wide-spreading plain of that formation. The 


irregularities which now appear are due to subaerial erosion by 
streams now long extinct, and by the snows and frosts of winter, 
and the rains and droughts of summer. Where the clay has 
offered the least resistance it has been removed; where it is harder 
it has remained, and thus we have an undulating surface. Denuda- 
tion of this description is ever in process, but so slowly that it 
escapes observation. Every fall of rain dissolves out or washes 
away a certain amount of earthy matter which ultimately reaches 
the sea. It is not lost. There \\'\\\ be in the future, as there has 
been in the past, upheavals, and that which the land now loses will 
in some distant epoch help to form new islands and continents, 
which may peradventure be inhabited by Tennyson's "Crowning 
race " 

" Of those that eye to eye shall look 

On knowledg-e ; under whose command 
Is Earth and Earths, and in their hand 
Is Nature like an open book." 

Zbc Ibtstory of tbe JBorougb. 

Early History to A.D. 1300. 
HEN we pass from the records of stone and sand 
to those of human origin, in other words pass 
from geologic time to the pre-historic and historic 
periods, the evidences of early occupation of 
Lewisham and the surrounding neighbourhood 
.- <::,^=_.^c;_^ are at first but few. Of pre-Roman date very- 

little has been brought to notice within the borough, if we 
except some o" the mounds on Blackheath, which are ill-defined, 
and to" which a period cannot with any certainty be assigned 
In 1 80-; some funeral urns were discovered in the grounds of 
n^rtmouth House, on Blackheath, which were pronounced to be 
Romr They weVe exhibited by the Earl of Dartmouth before 
the Society of Antiquaries, and afterwards presented by him to 
the British Museum.* 

In 1806 some Roman antiquities were found by a labourer as 

he was digging in a gravel pit on Sydenham Common. Amongst 

hem werT fragments of tablets of copper contammg part of a 

decree of the Emperor Trajan in favour of the veterans of the 

auxiliary cohorts serving in Britain. An account of this discovery 

was published by Lysons. ^ _ ^^ ;„ 

The first documentary notice of the place is in a grant made in 
A D 862 bv Aethelberht, of Wessex, to Deightwald, the thegn, ot 
land" at Bromlev. In this the bounds of " Bromleag " are given in 
Saxon and are stated to run from Ceddanleag to Langanleag 
(Langlev in Beckenham) and " Liofshema," then to Wonstoc and 
Modin-khema, &c., &c.t In a charter by Aethelred, regranting 
this Wnd in A D. q68, the same bounds are named, but Lewisham 
is styled' "Leofsuhaema.": These early instances, which were 
overlooked by Philpot, Hasted, ^nd other historians of the county 
supply the clue to the derivation of the name, of which Professor 
Skeat has given the following explanation :— • , ., 

In the forms Liofshema and Le^fsuhaema, the -a is only a 
case-ending. The phrase " Leofsuhaema mearc,' as it is found 

• Archaeologia, Vol. XV. t Kemble's Charters, No. 287. 

i Kemble's Charters, No. 657. 


in charters, means "the mark or boundary of the inhabitants of 
Leofsuham "; haema being the genitive plural of haeme, a nomina- 
tive plural signifying " men belonging to a ham or farm-stead." 

Liof \s the Kentish spelling of A.S. leaf. Leof \s the modern 
English lief, which was once an adjective and meant "dear." In 
Liofs-hema, the ^ cannot be a genitive suffix, as that was -es, but it 
is the first letter of a second syllable ; it stands for Liof-s. 

In Leof-su the second syllable is also incomplete ; it stands for 

The middle portion of a name is often partially suppressed, as 
is Lem'ster for Leominster, and the like. Leof-su' obviously stands 
for Leof-siina, the genitive case of Leof-suiiu, which was a fairly 
common name, occurs in Kentish and Southern Charters and 
simply means "dear son." 

Thus the obvious sense is " Leof-sunu's home," or a farmstead 
in which lived a man named Leof-sunu (lit. dear son). 

As for the pronunciation, the modern English Leveson, which 
is the modern English form of Leof-sunu, is pronounced Lewson. 
So in modern English Lewisham means Leveson 's-home ; or, 
remembering that the genitive case oi suuji (son) did fwt end in -s, 
but in -a (which now-a-days would disappear) it would more exactly 
be represented by " Lewson-home," and this by contraction 
regularly becomes Lews-ham. or even Ltisam, as it was phonetically 
spelt in the seventeenth century. 

Then popular etymology substituted the known n^me Lewis, for 
the form Lus, which had lost all meaning, and the -is of Lewis being 
now generally plainly heard, the form Lewis-ham has become fixed.* 

One wonders who and what manner of man this Leof-sunu 
was, who through all the intervening years has given his name to 
the wide tract now known as Lewisham. All we can say is that he 
was a Saxon, or perhaps a Jute, and that no doubt, attracted by 
the river and the pastures along its banks, he settled here some- 
where in the period between A.D. 500 and A.D. 862, probably 

* In Hasted's History of Kent the name Lewisham is stated "to be derived 
from L^s or Leswes [Iseswe, laesu] in Saxon, signifying pastures, and ham, a 
town or village, " and this statement has been very generally copied by local 

The A.S. Icesit, a pasture, became leese in Elizabethan English. It is now 
spelt lees, leas, lease and leys. The last spelling suggests that it is a plural, 
which is not the case. The word lea, A.S. leak, a fallow field, is a totally 
different word, with a mere accidental resemblance of sound. It is also spelt 
ley, lay, leigh, and is common in place-names. 

The A.S. laesive is the dative case of the form ISsit above. Nevertheless, 
it produced the form leasowe or leasoiv, pronounced lezzer in Shropshire. 

The A.S. Icesii would have given us Leesham. The A.S. lces~ve would have 
given us Leasoiv-ham ; the contracted form of which would have been Lesham, 
pronounced Lezhani or Lezsunt. It shows that all that Hasted (or those upon 
whom he relied) did was to guess freely without testing the results. 

It is necessary to add that some exception was taken to the above 
etymology in Notes and Queries, 8 S. xi, 311 ; but the writer of the note has 
since kindly informed me that he wholly withdraws his objection, and that my 
solution is certainly correct. — W, W. Skeat. 


nearer the first than the latter date, since by the early part of the 
tenth century the name had become shortened down to Lievesham, 
and its origin forgotten. 

But it is with the year A.D. gi8 that the history of Lewisham 
really opens, and connects the place with the man all England 
delights to honour, Alfred the Great, for in that year Elfrida, the 
youngest daughter of Alfred and wife of Count Baldwin of 
Flanders, bestowed her lands " Lieuesham, Grenevic and Uulwich" 
on the Abbey of St. Peter, at Ghent. Considerable speculation has 
arisen as to the exact relationship which Elfrida — or Elstrudis as 
the name is latinized in the charters — bore to King Alfred, because 
in subsequent documents she is styled " neptis " (or niece). King 
Edgar, in 964, calls her "daughter of the uncle of King Edward, 
my grandfather," whilst Edward the Confessor in less round- 
about fashion, simply styles her "niece of the foresaid Alfred." 
That she was the daughter of King Alfred seems, however, to 
admit of no doubt, and the connection which Alfred had with Kent 
by his descent, accounts for his possessions in the County. Alfred's 
great grandfather was Ealhmund, King of Kent, whose son, 
Egbert, was chosen to succeed Brihtric in the Kingdom of Wessex, 
A.D. 800. Ethelwulf, who succeeded Egbert in 836, married 
twice. By his first wife Osburgha, daughter of his cup-bearer 
Oslac, he had Alfred and other children. Oslac was by race a Jute, 
whose forefathers had received the Isle of Wight from Cerdic, and 
probably held possessions in Kent on some of the old Juten lands. 
Alfred, the youngest son, succeeded his brothers on the throne in 
871, and by his wife, Elswitha, daughter of Ethelred, Earl of the 
Gaini, of an old Mercian family, he had Edward the Elder, who 
succeeded him, two other sons and three daughters, the youngest 
of whom, Elfrida, married Count Baldwin of Flanders, who was 
the son of Alfred's stepmother, Judith. 

Elfrida in the charter speaks of Lewisham, Greenwich and 
Woolwich, as "her inheritance." In her father's will in A.D. 901, 
he left her the ham of Cippenham, which Dr. Drake, in his History 
of the Hundred of Blackheath, suggests was Chippenham, in 
Wiltshire, but which may have been exchanged for land at 
Lewisham, since Cippenham is an old form of Sydenham. It does 
not seem necessary to ^o so far afield to account for the possession 
of Lewisham by the Countess of Flanders. It is much more likely 
that the greater portion of this part of Kent was looked upon as 
belonging to the royal house. Dartford and Chislehurst continued 
part of the ancient demesne of the Crown at the time of the 
Conquest, and the boundaries would not need to be much enlarged 
to have taken in Lewisham as well. On her marriage Elfrida 
would, no doubt, have received a portion from her father, and what 
more natural than that she should receive property in Kent which 
was nearest to her new home, and may have come to her through 
her Jutish mother. 

Doubt has been cast on the authenticity of many of these early 


charters giving grants of land to religious houses. In the present 
case there seems no reason to consider the charter a forgery. As 
we shall see, the Abbey of Ghent had great difficulty in retaining 
its hold on Lewisham, and if there had been any suspicion that the 
charter was spurious, full use would have been made of the doubt. 
Of Elfrida we know but little. Her husband, Baldwin the 
Second, died on 2nd January, 918, and on the 6th September of 
that year she, with the consent of her two sons, Arnulf and Adolf, 
gave " her inheritance, Lieuesham, Grenewic and Uulwich, with 
the meadows, pastures and woods" to the Abbey of St. Peter, at 
Ghent, for the welfare of the souls of her husband, her sons and 
herself. She died in June, 929, and was buried with her husband 
in the Chapel of St. Lawrence in the Church of St. Peter, where 
their sons were also interred, and on her tomb was an epitaph, in 
which she is distinctly called the daughter of the noble-minded 
King Alfred : — 

" Clara fui Elfridi generosi filia Reg-is 
Elstrudis proprio nomine dicta meo." 

The Abbey at Ghent was a house of Benedictine Monks, which 
was founded about the year A.D. 6q8, by St. Amand, who 
destroyed the Idol of Mercury and built a church which, after 
suffering at the hands of the heathen, was rebuilt and dedicated in 
honour of St. Peter. Twice in the 9th century was it destroyed, 
but rebuilt by the monks, and Elfrida's son, Count Arnulf, appears 
to have added to it in 937. In A.D. 956, King Edwy became 
involved in a dispute with Dunstan, Abbot of Glastonbury, who 
fled from the Kingdom and took refuge at the Abbey of Ghent. 
Two years later the northern part of England rose in revolt and 
proclaimed Edgar, the brother of Edwy, king. The rebellion 
spread, Dunstan returned and took the part of Edgar, who had 
also the help of Odo, Archbishop of Canterbury. Edwy was forced 
to submit, and either died by violence or of a broken heart, and 
thus Edgar succeeded to the throne. 

One of his first acts was to appoint Dunstan to the Archbishopric 
rendered vacant by Odo's death. The Archbishop did not forget 
the monks of Ghent who had sheltered him in his exile, and in 
A.D. 964 he besought Edgar to confirm the gift of Elfrida to the 
Abbey. King Edgar's charter is worded as a deed of gift from 
himself, which may indicate that the foreign abbey had already 
experienced difficulty in making good its hold : — 

"I, Edgar, King and Chief of the English, by divine assistance, 
renouncing every low and transitory thing as dross, make known 
to all that I have granted to God and St. Peter, and to the Society 
of the Church of Gand, a certain extent of land in a place which the 
rustics from ancient custom have denominated Lieuesham, with all 
its appurtenances, viz., Greenwich, Woolwich, Mottingham and 

The monks of Ghent looked upon St. Dunstan as one of their 
benefactors, and treasured his gold ring amongst their jewels. 


R„t St Dun^tan was not the only Englishman who sought 

refuee It Ghent Ethelred the Unready, son of Edgar after va.nly 

Tl^r^fLTto stem the tide of Danish invasion, was forced to flee 

^nn doubt scattered the little community at Lewisham, some of 

;tH°'Srf.lic anS Uluic •■ with ^^ ^^^^^^^/'S'^i 
The g ft of " Leteshlm with all its appertenances, v-, Gren^^c 


Kfied in Cowden parish, and were known locally as he Manor 
of Lewisham, according to Dearne's History °f .^^e ^^^^'^^.^l^!;! 
same time land in London, called Wermanacre (near St. Dunstan 

part confirmed by successive kings. ^i^rm^d the 

The Norman conquest would not necessarily have alarmed the 

Abbot for the safety 'of his possessions Matilda the -Je o^^^e 

Conqueror, was descended ^-^ f 'X^thrimS wee'^tt'ulen^^^ 
thprpfore a eood friend at Court, out me iinic» nvc „,.,,■ ^,^ 

fsSibedL the Manor of Lewisham, with all its appurtenances 
viz Greenwich. Woolwich, Mottingham and Coombe ^vUh the 
; aces'^n th^ W;ald-before named and Wermennacres Wern 
in London. The rights and privileges granted by the Contessor 

charter are also confirmed. „,f ^r- curvpv 

Four years later came the celebrated n^que.t or su vey 

commonly called Domesday, and it is '^"-^"/^J^J^^^^^^^ 
standing the above confirmations, the property assigned therein 


the Abbot of Ghent is Lewishatn only, although it is probable that a 
great part of what we call Greenwich to-day is comprehended 
under the description given. Greenwich itself is described as 
having been two Manors in the time of King Edward the Confessor, 
held by Earl Harold and Brixi respectively, but united after the 
Conquest and held by the Bishop of Lisieux of the Bishop of Baieux. 
It is practically impossible to reconcile the charters and Domesday, 
but the point belongs rather to the history of Greenwich than to 
that of Lewisham. 

It must be remembered that Domesday Book was primarily a 
great valuation record, and that little was entered therein which 
had no bearing on the value for taxation purposes of the various 
Manors. It is spoken of sometimes as though it were a kind of 
eleventh century gazetteer, but it is only this to a very limited 
extent. One might be pardoned the wish now that the returns 
from which it was compiled had dealt with other matters, but we 
must not expect too much from it. 

The entrj^ in Domesday respecting Lewisham is as follows : — 

"Terra Sancti Petri de Gand. In Grenviz Hundredo. Abbas de 
Gand tenet de rege Levesham et de rege Edward tenuit et tunc et 
modo pro ii solins se defendit. Terra est xiiii carucarum In 
dominio sunt ii carucae el 1 villani cum ix bordariis habent xvii 
carucas. Ibi iii servi et xj molini cum gablo rusticorum vii libras 
et xii solidos reddentes. De exitu portus xl solidi. Ibi xxx acrae 
prati. De silva 1 porci de pasnagio. Totum manerium Tempore 
Regis Edwardi valebat xvj libras et post xij libras modo xxx'^ 

" The Land of St. Peter of Gand. In Greenwich Hundred. The 
Abbot of Gand hold Levesham of the King and he held it of King 
Edward, and then and now it answers for two sulings. There is 
the arable land of fourteen teams. In demesne there are two teams, 
and 50 villans with 9 bordars have seventeen teams. There are 
three slaves and eleven mills with the gafol of the rustics rendering 
eight pounds and twelve shillings. From the outgoings of the 
haven forty shillings. There are thirty acres of meadow. Of 
wood 50 hogs from the pannage. The whole manor in the time of 
King Edward was worth sixteen pounds, and afterwards twelve 
pounds. Now thirty pounds." 

This may be paraphrased as follows : — In Greenwich Hundred 
(subsequently called Blackheath Hundred) The Abbot of Ghent 
holds Levesham of the King, and of King Edward he held it, and 
then and now it answers for two sulings, i.e., the unit of assess- 
ment for taxation in Kent ; in other counties the unit was known 
as a hide, which is generally understood to have been about half a 
suling. The Kentish unit was therefore low for taxation purposes. 

In the time of King Edward, the area under cultivation was 
that workable by fourteen ploughs each with a team of eight oxen. 
In the portion of the Manor in the hands of the Abbot himself or 
his bailiff, and known as the Demesne, there were at the time of 



taking the survey, two plough teams. The tenants consisted of 
fifty families of the class known as villans and nine known as 
bordars, who, between them, had seventeen plough teams. There 
were thus 19 teams in A.D. 1085, against the 14 in King Edward's 
days. In other words more land was being placed under cultivation. 
The villans and bordars were personally free, but only in a limited 
sense to our ideas. The former each held about 30 acres of land, 
but they could not quit their holdings without leave, and they were 
bound to perform many servicesto the Lord of the Manor, besides 
furnishing oxen to drive the ploughs on the demesne. The bordars 
or cottagers had smaller holdings of some five Acres, and were 
more akin to farm labourers. 

Plate G. — \'iew of a Water-Mill at Lewisham, 1777. 

There were three families of slaves, who performed the menial 
work about the Manor Court. There are thus 72 families recorded 
in A.D. 1085, or a population of between 300 and 400 souls. 

Along the banks of the river would have been the 30 acres of 
meadow, whilst all around lay the woods, which remained at Syden- 
ham and Forest Hill until almost within living memory. Their value 
is assessed, it will be seen, by the number of swine (50) which the 
tenants gave the Lord of the Manor for the privilege of turning 
their pigs out into the woods to fatten on the oak and beech mast. 
It would be interesting to know if the assessment of wood included 
the denes in the Weald near Cowden, which were attached to 

A point of much interest in the Domesday entry, is the 
statement that there were eleven mills. The number, considering 
the size of the Ravensbourne — for they were all water mills — seems 
very large, and it has been suggested that the entry is an error. 


There are, however, at least nine mills named in the 13th Century, 
and even to-day there are, or were until recently, six within the 
parish of Lewisham. The profits from them were valuable, 
amounting, with the gafol, or rent of the country folk, to jQS 12s., 
since all corn had to be ground at one of the mills pertaining to the 

The outgoings of the " haven " are given as 40s., from which 
-we are led to assume that Lewisham was held to stretch as far as 
the mouth of the Ravensbourne at Deptford Creek. . 

The whole Manor is stated to have been worth jQi6 in King 
Edward's days, afterwards ;^i2, and in A.D, 1085, ;^30. 

Such is the brief outline given us in Domesday Book, and we 
have to fill in the details as best we may. It will be observed that 
no church is mentioned. The Commissioners were given no 
instructions to include the churches ; they often did so, but the 
absence of any statement cannot be taken as implying that no 
church existed ; indeed, the Charter of the Confessor includes the 
churches of Lewisham and Greenwich in the list of belongings. 
Moreover it is unlikely that a religious community, such as the 
monks of Ghent, would have neglected to erect some building for 
public worship. 

It is clear that from the time of William the Conqueror, the 
property of the Abbot of Ghent consisted only of Lewisham and 
Greenwich, and that he dropped any claim he might have had 
under the older charters to Woolwich, Mottingham and Combe. 
Possibly the whole of Greenwich was secured to him in place of the 
last three named places, but there are no documents to show that 
any formal arrangement was made. William Rufus confirmed 
the Abbot's possession of " Liefesham and Grenuich," and a 
similar charter of confirmation was obtained from each succeeding 

How necessary this was may be seen from the claimants who 
endeavoured to wrest the property from the monks. In the reign 
of Henry I, one Gervaise de Cornouailles (or Cornhill), apparently 
a Londoner, asserted a claim — on what grounds we are not told, 
and amongst the archives of East Flanders are three deeds by 
which he renounced his pretensions. The Charter given by Henry I, 
possibly in consequence of the above claim, enlarged the previous 
gifts by granting the Abbot the sole right of hunting — Free Warren, 
as it was called — on his lands, and further gave authority for the 
establishment of a market at Greenwich. 

But another and more powerful claimant appeared in the 
person of Robert de Baunton, son of Walter de Douai, who was 
Lord of the Manor of Lee. It is an instructive example of the 
turbulent spirit of the time, that in spite of Royal Charters and the 
curses of the church on all who broke them, claims such as those 
of Robert de Baunton should have been set up and for years 
successfully pleaded. No doubt the Norman, Walter de Douai, 
seated at his place in Lee, looked with jealous eyes on the Abbot's 


possessions, which lay close to his hands. The Abbot too, was 
^Jer the sea, and his representatives-probably only a few monks 
and lav brethren-could offer but little resistance, and so Robert, 
his son, seized Lewisham and Greenwich and held them m spite of 

^''^Na^turallyThe Abbot carried the matter before Henry I, and 
Robert de Baunton was summoned to appear ^nd answer for his 
claim. This, however, he disdained to do, and in default King 
Henrv adjudged the Manors to be the property of the Abbot ot 
Ghent, and forbad Robert to molest him. King Stephen also gave 
the Abbot a further Charter, declaring that the pretensions advanced 
bv Robert de Baunton were ill-founded, and Bulls were obtained 
from Popes Eugenius III and Alexander III, excommunicating all 
who should presume to interfere with the Abbot's possessions in 

Lewisham and Greenwich. , ^u ^ o^Kari- 

From proceedings which took place later, we learn that Robert 
and his friends murmured so loudly against these decrees, and held 
the King and Abbot in such ill-will*-by which we may presume 
that no artifice within the law, or indeed -t,l^°^'t-hich those 
troublous times allowed, went untried-that the Abbot, for the 
sake of peace, granted the Manors to Robert and his heirs, for a 

^'^'' RoberVs^d^ughter and heir, Juliana, married Willian. P^-^anell, 
who founded the Priory of Drax, in Yorkshire and the Manors 
appear to have remained in their hands and those of their son, 
Fulke Paeanell. The Abbot's Charter had been taken to Uffeculme 
in Devonshire, for greater security, but in the wars between 
Stephen and the Empress Maud, the Manor House there, with the 
Charter w^as burnt. Whether the Abbot became aware of this, or 
merely 'regarded his arrangement with Robert de Baunton as a 
lease, it is impossible to say ; anyway, he obtained a confirmation 
from King John in 1208, and in 1222 he commenced an action in 
the King^s Courts to recover possession from William Paganell, 
the son of Fulke. 

William produced his two freemen, Simon, son of Humphrey 
de Grenewiche, and Michael, son of William de S.lverton in 
Devonshire, who offered to prove by their bodies in combat, it the 
Court should so decide, that their fathers had seen the Charter ot 
the Abbot, granting Lewisham to Robert de Baunton, and had 
ordered them to come forward with their testimonv .f ever they 
heard talk of it, and they asserted that Robert de Baunton held 
Lewisham and Greenwich when Henry 1 died. 

The Abbot was represented by Friars Arn and John and the 
2 1 St of April was fixed for the trial. The case was however, 
settled peaceably. The Abbot undertook to pay loj silver marks 
to William Paganell, who on his part renounced all rights in the 

•Drakes Hasted, page 238. from the Coram Rege Roll, Henry HI, 
No. 2, m. 7, Kent. 


Manors, and undertook to annul any Charter that might hereafter 
come to Hght which favoured his claims. The original deed, dated 
at Westminster, 27th April, 1222, is preserved amongst the 
archives of East Flanders. 

And so at last the Abbot was secure in his possession. 
Henry III gave him a further Charter of Confirmation in 1229, and 
during his long reign, so far as we can tell, nothing occurred to 
disturb his tenure. 

Evidence of the insecurity of the Abbot of Ghent's tenure is, 
incidentally, to be found in the very large amount of subinfeudation, 
which took place within the Manor of Lewisham, and as the making 
of these subsidiary manors was prohibited by the statute Quia 
Emptores in 1291, we may safely assume that those in Lewisham 
were in existence before that date. They consist of the Manors of 
Bankers, Brockley, Catford, Bellingham, Shraflioit and Sydenham, 
which between them cover at least three-quarters of the total area. 

Bankers. — The family of Bonquer, or Banquel became 
possessed of land In Lewisham in the reign of Henry HI, about the 
year 1260, by purchase from the Doget family, and this seems to 
have originated the manor since called by their name, corrupted to 
Bankers and Bankhurst. T'he manor is entirely in Lewisham, and 
comprises nearly all that portion between Loampit Hill and 
Stanstead Road, the parish boundary on the north and west and 
the river Ravensbourne on the east, from Lewisham Bridge to 
Catford. The Banquels in 1261 purchased 

Shrafholt from the Castillon family. This Manor is partly in 
Lewisham and partly in Bromley, comprising part of Southend, 
Bromley Hill and part of Plaistow. 

In addition to the above, the Banquels became Lords of the 
Manor of Lee in the reign of Edward III, and the Manor of Lee is 
held to include not only the whole of the old parish of that name, 
but also that part of Lewisham comprising Mount Pleasant, 
Rosenthal, St. Swithun's (Hither Green), and the Park Hospital. 

Brockley belonged to the Maminots in the time of Henry II, 
and formed part of the endowment of Begham Abbey. It is 
doubtful whether the Lewisham portion was esteemed a Manor, 
nearly the whole area being within the Manor of Bankers, but 
certain estates in Lewisham paid quit rents to the Lord of the 
Manor of Brockley. 

Catford includes the St. German's estate in the Brownhill and 
adjoining roads, and that in the Stanstead Road. It belonged to 
the Abel family in the time of Edward I, and subsequently to the 
College of St. Lawrence Pountney, in London. 

Bellingham seems to have included the greater part of the 
land between Catford and Southend. It became part of the 
endowment of the Cistercian Abbey of Stratford Langthorne in 

Sydenham, in mediaeval times, was the district now known as 
Lower Sydenham and Perry Hill. It is doubtful whether this was 

EARLY HISTORY' TO A.D. ijoo. 27 

rightly termed a manor, but nearly the whole of the property was 
very early alienated by the Abbot of Ghent. 

With regard to manorial jurisdiction, the Manor of Lewisham 
was paramount over the whole, and persons from the whole 
area appear to have attended the Manor Courts. Separate 
Courts for Bankers and Shrafholt were held, however, with those 
for Lee, and there is also evidence that quit rents were paid by 
tenants within the Manor of Bellingham to their own lord. 

The quit rents paid to the Lord of the Manor of Lewisham for 
the various tenures were :- 

:s> were ; — 



For Bankers 



,, Shratholt 



,, Bellingham 



,, Catford... 


1 1 

The glimpses we have of Lewisham life in the 13th century are 
chiefly contained in the Assize Rolls. If these present us with the 
worst side of the life of the times, they also give us the customs 
which are the foundation of much of the procedure of to-day. 

Blackheath, as in after years, appears to have been a 
particularly perilous place to cross, several of the cases referring to 
murders committed thereon. Thus in 1254, certain malefactors 
unknown assaulted Hamo de Cherewood and Roger le Juuene on 
the Heath, Roger was slain, and Hamo, as being present, was 
attached to answer for the crime, but was not suspected. The law- 
then required that on the death of a man by violence it was 
necessary tor the district to prove he was not a Frenchman. This 
was not done in the present case, and the Hundred in w^hich the 
murder took place was accordingly fined. The township of 
Greenwich was also fined for burying the dead man without 
holding an inquest and the neighbouring townships of Lee and 
Charlton were fined for not aiding in the prosecution of the 

Another interesting case in the same year was a quarrel, 
between Geoffrey le Bidelede and Margery, daughter of Roger 
David, on the one hand, and Agnes, daughter of Roger le Biche, 
on the other. Geoffrey and Margery between them beat Agnes to 
death, and being apprehended they were placed in the prison of 
the Prior of Lewisham. Margery effected her escape and fled to 
Lewisham Church, and having thus taken sanctuary she was 
permitted to abjure the realm before William Scot, the Prior's 
bailiff. Her companion in crime, Geoffrey, was taken to Rochester 
Castle, but escaping, he was declared exiled, outlawed and con- 
demned to death. For having allowed the felons to escape the 
township of Lewisham was fined. The episode took place in that 
part of the Manor represented at the Manor Court by Adam de 

Another case may be taken from the Assize Rolls for 1278. 
Matthew de Pontefract and James, son of Henry de Brocole 


(Brockley), met in the township of Lewisham and quarrelled. 
Henry struck Matthew with a club so that he died the same night. 
Henry fled, was proclaimed and outlawed. His goods, which were 
valued at 6s. gd., were forfeited. Lewisham was fined for allowing 
him to escape and "Elteham, Ketebroc and Wolwich" for not 
joining in the pursuit — which indicates the route of the assassin. 

It will be seen from these cases that rough as the times were 
and ready as men were to lift up their weapons against one another 
the law was so devised that the wrong-doer was not likely to 
escape if those responsible for order did their duty. Another 
custom — the aim of which was to assist in detecting murder — was 
that of attaching the four next neighbours of a man for his death. 
The general proceedings for keeping the peace known as the 
View of Frankpledge will give us several examples of their working 
when we come to the period covered by the early Court Rolls of 
the Manor. 

The 14TH AND 15TH Centuries. 

N order to understand the local life of Lewisham 
in the Middle Ages it will be necessary to explain, 
if only very briefly, the arrangement of land 
within the manor. This may be classed under 
four heads — (i) the lord's demesne; (ii) the land 
held by the various classes of tenants; (iii) the 
common fields; (iv) the waste. Of these the first-named needs 
little explanation: it included the manor house and the gardens 
and home farm immediately around it. This at Lewisham is 
generally believed to have stood at Rushey Green, although the 
site is not now the property of the lord of the manor. The pound, 
an indispensable adjunct, is, however, close at hand, and the land 
to the rear of this belongs to the Earl of Dartmouth. 

The land held by the various tenants included their houses 
with the adjoining crofts, and these were generally grouped 
together in the village not far from the church and manor house. 
The houses for the most part were built of timber and wattle, and 
consisted of a hall open to the rafters of the roof, with a central 
fire, the smoke of which found its way out either by a louvre in 
the roof, or, in the smaller houses, as best it could. At one end 
of the hall, or both ends in the larger houses, were small chambers, 
the upper stories of which overhung the lower. The furniture was 
of the simplest description : a trestle table with benches in the hall, 
and a bedstead with a locker or two in the rooms. 

But the chief point in the mediaeval economy was the old 
custom of cultivation in vogue in the fields. Each free tenant 


possessed certain acres of land in addition to the croft in which 
his dwelling^ was placed, but these acres were distributed in strips 
in the common fields and were not grouped together as they are 
to-day. The fields were cultivated generally in sets of three, in 
one of which early crops were raised, in another autumn crops, 
whilst the third lay fallow, and in each of these the tenants' strips 
were distributed. Much of the land held by the lord was also 
distributed in the same manner, his strips being mingled with 
those of the tenants in the common fields. From Lammastide 
(ist August) the fences which divided the strips were taken down 
and the whole field regarded as common property for grazing, etc., 
until the next ploughing time, the crops being varied each year 
for each field. In some manors the fields were managed on a 
two-field basis, one arable, the other pasture. 

Outside the whole was the waste of heath and uncultivated 
land, upon which all holders of land within the manor had the 
right of pasture for their cattle and flocks according to the size 
of their holdings, and also the right of cutting furze, etc., for fuel. 
The soil belonged to the lord, but he could not enclose it if any 
damage was done thereby to those who had the "right of 
common," as it was called. In Lewisham there were two large 
tracts of waste, Blackheath and Westwood at Sydenham. 

Our knowledge of Lewisham when the manorial system was 
in full working order is derived from the early records of the Court 
of the Lord of the Manor and his Rent Rolls. Those which 
survive are in the Public Record Office, and no doubt became 
part of the public records when the manor came to the crown on 
the suppression of the alien priories. The Court Rolls preserved 
commence in 1284, the twelfth year of the reign of Edward I, and 
they cover parts of the reign of that king, of the reign of 
Edward II, a few years of Edward III, and part of the reign of 
Henry V. They thus give us a series of peeps at Lewisham for 
a period of 140 years, and enable us to see something of the life 
and local government of the place. Incidentally they throw much 
light on the place names of the parish, so familiar to us to-day 
that it comes somewhat as a surprise to find how ancient some 
of them are. Could a Lewisham man of the 14th century revisit 
the old scenes he would truly recognise nothing, but were he 
spoken to of Brockley, Stumps Hill, Court Hill, Eastdown, 
Sydenham, Catford, Shroffold, and other places wiihin the 
borough, he would soon feel that he was on familiar soil, for the 
names were as much household words to him as they are to us 
in the 20th century. 

The earliest of the rent rolls is undated, but seems to be of 
the time of Edward II. It gives the small money payments 
made by the various free tenants in Lewisham in lieu of the 
personal service exacted in earlier times, or the rents which were 
agreed to on the creation of a new homestead from the waste. 
The manor was divided into two "burghs" — Northburgh, which 


seems to have included the portion from Blackheath to Catford; 
and Southburgh, which took in Bellingham, Southend, and 
possibly Sydenham. 

But besides the rents, there were still certain services due 
to the lord by various hides* of land in the manor, and those 
which related to the hay harvest are specially set down as follows: 

Hides in "la Norburgh of Leuesham" which owe services 
to the lord of the manor in Cassemede in time of hay harvest, viz.: 

Draggeshide ought to bring two men, one iron fork, one 
wooden fork, a cart, and give id. 

Harmakeshide ought to bring four men, one iron fork, one 
wooden fork, two rakes and two carts, and give ad. 

Rochulveshide and Alfildehide ought to bring as Harmakes- 

Thurbarneshide does not do these services because it does 
suit at the court for the burgh. 

Hides in Suthburgh which owe service as above: 

Cordeleshide ought to bring four men, one iron fork, one 

wooden fork, two rakes, two carts, and give 2d. 
Poncheshide ought to bring three men, one iron fork, one 

wooden fork, two rakes and two carts, and give 2d. 
Copehodeshide, Potteshide and Frerenhide ought to bring as 

Cassemede was apparently the name given to the meadow- 
lands of the lordship, and we see from the above how the tenants 
assisted in getting in the hay. Other hides mentioned are Conge- 
dehide, Duehide at Schrafholte, Cassehide, Godeboldeshide ; but 
the services due from the tenants are not stated. The designa- 
tions of the hides probably give us the names of some of the 
earliest settlers in Lewisham. 

Of the great common-fields of the manor the names of several 
have come down to us, and fortunately we can place most of 
them : — 

Snndermead is the large field of 17 acres where Lewisham 
Station now stands, and which is even yet garden ground in part. 
In the reign of Edward H there are several entries in the Court 
Rolls of fines for services in this field which had not been per- 

Broadfield is the large field of about 80 acres on the eastern 
side of the railway, between Catford Bridge and Lower Sydenham, 
and is still farm land. It is mentioned in the Rental of the reign 
of Edward II. 

* The hide varied in different parts of the country, but may be taken as 
representing about 120 acres. It was originally the extent of a family's 


Southfield^ of 42 acres, is now Lewisham Park, with the allot- 
ment ground hard by. It is mentioned in the Court Rolls of 1335. 
when John Sutor was fined 4d. for allowing his swine to run 

Westfield and Northfield are also named in the Rental of 
Edward II's reign, but their position cannot now be determined. 
The former may be identical with Pickthornes, the great field of 
64 acres at Forest Hill, in the centre of which Christ Church now 
stands. The field is also mentioned in the same rental. Northfield 
may be the great field of nearly 40 acres called Strodes, which is 
now the Ladywell and Deptford Cemetery. 

Another manor field was Clangors, the ground of about 
32 acres at the back of the Pound at Rushey Green. 

Certain lands in the manor were charged with providing 
ploughshares for the ploughs of the lord. Eighteen of these are 
shown as due yearly, valued at gd. each. Other lands owed 
"Waldgavel," or wood rent, the sums being small, e.g., Robert de 
Catford, for the third part of Thurbarneshide, paid 2d.; Henry de 
Rombergh, for his part of the same hide, lid. ; Richard Copehod, 
for his part of Copehodeshide, j|d.; William and Adam .-\tte 
Ford, for their part of Potteshide, 2d.; etc. 

The whole rental, excepting the redemption of Waldgavel 
and the services due in Cassemede, came to ;^28 os. 8d. 

The names of the various mills along the Ravensbourne in 
the early part of the 14th century occur frequentlv on the manor 

Toddelesmill - Now called the Silk Mill, near Lewisham 

Sematiiiesinill - Belonging to the Bridge House, and pro- 
bably that now called Riverdale. 

Slagravesmill - This must have been near Ladywell. Sla- 
grave is now the Bermondsey Union 

Fordmill - - Probably Catford Mill. 

Freremill - - Probably at Bellingham. 

Knappemill - \ 

Livingesmill - .-Apparently at Southend. 

Shrafholtemill - J 

Punifretesmill - 

At the time the Court Rolls were written the lord of the 
manor was to a large extent supreme within his own manor and 
held his court, which took cognisance of almost all matters which 
related to the daily life and well-being of the tenants. .At the 
same time it must be remembered that the whole was governed by 
custom — that appeal to what had gone before, to what had always 
been done — and consequently much that seems strange, harsh, 
and vexatious to us would have been regarded by our predecessors 


as coming in the ordinary course of things. The rolls are the 
records of the proceedings held in these courts, and we shall find 
that the matters dealt with included trespass, theft, assault, 
damage, encroachment, breaking the assize of bread and beer, 
i.e., selling under weight and quality, and similar misdemeanours. 
At these courts, which as a rule were held once every three weeks, 
all transfers of land were recorded and fines for the privilege paid 
to the lord. The court also took cognizance of all cases of 
nuisance arising out of drains or watercourses being stopped up 
or roads left in bad repair, and any attempt to carry gravel or 
turf or furze from the common or heath lands was met by the 
imposition of a fine. The bailiff of the manor, as representing 
the lord, presided over the court, and was assisted by a jury 
elected by the tenants, who also elected a headman or "Boroughs- 
elder" or "Borsholder," as he was called, for each division of the 
manor, the aletaster, the appraisors or assessors, and other 

It will thus be seen that there was in each manor a very com- 
plete system of local government, and that nearly all those who 
carried on the work were elected by the people themselves. No 
doubt the power possessed by the lord of the manor could have 
been exercised in a tyrannical manner, but we have evidence that 
in some manors at least the lord was answerable to his own court 
and carried out its decrees. 

In Lewisham the people had the advantage, if indeed it really 
was one, of having an absentee foreign abbot as lord of the 
manor, viz., the Abbot of St. Peter at Ghent. His place here was 
taken by the prior of the cell or house which, as we have 
seen, was established at Lewisham to look after the estates and 
collect the revenues. It is more than probable that the compara- 
tively mild sway of the prior was overbalanced by the fact that 
he had no further interest in the place than that of sending as 
much money as he could collect to his foreign master. At the 
same time he was willing to make grants of land to free tenants, 
and this is evidenced from the fact that out of the 5,773 acres of 
the old parish of Lewisham only 396 acres eventually remained 
in the hands of the lord of the manor, and this included the 
lammas lands. 

The courts are frequently called the View of Frankpledge, 
the Anglo-Saxon system by which all freemen were pledged for 
the good behaviour of one another. 

Before giving some specimens of the cases brought before the 
courts, it will be of interest to see what light the rolls throw on 
the place names of the parish. There are several references to 
Blackheath, principally in connection with persons cutting turf 
without authority. It is generally alluded to as "la Blakehethe," 
or the "Common de la Blakehethe" (1301). 

At the further end of the parish we have to-day Beckenham 
Lane, the summit of which is known as Stumps Hill. This name 


appears as Stompshill, Stombeshill, Stombelhulle, the last being- 
probably the earliest form and giving the meaning of the name. 
It gave its name to a family the members of which frequently 
appear in the Court Rolls as Richard de Stombeshull, Ralph 
Stombelhulle, etc. (1301). 

Forest Hill is represented by Adam atte Forest, Robert atte 
Forest, and others, and the name serves to remind us how thickly 
wooded the Sydenham Hills must then have been. 

Catford appears as a family name in John de Cateford, who 
was a leading parishioner in 1320, in which year he was Bors- 

A name which has completely vanished from the parish is that 
of Romburgh. A family of de Romburgh flourished in Lewisham 
in the 14th century. Romburgh Forest is also mentioned, and 
other persons are named as dwelling in Romburgh. In a deed 
of the 13th century certain property is mentioned as being bounded 
by "the road which leadeth from Lewisham Church to Romburgh," 
and in another deed certain Romburgh property is spoken of as 
adjoining "Southfield," which is now Lewisham Park. It would 
seem, therefore, that Romburgh is the old name for that part of 
the parish where St. Swithun's, Hither Green, in now situated. 

Camps Hill, in Hither Green Lane, appears in these early 
records as Kemp's Hill, probably called from a former owner or 
occupier, and not from the fact that a camp or entrenchment 
formerly stood there. 

Richard de Brocle appears in 1301 presenting the excuse of 
Robert atte Forest for non-attendance at the Manor Court, and 
in 13 1 2 John de Crey and Adam Ster are summoned for not 
building their houses in "Brockele." 

The modern Sangley comes to us as Sanguinel, and this form 
survived as Sanwell as late as 1820. 

The records of the courts held in 1301 are entered rather 
fully — we will take that held on the Thursday after Palm Sunday 
of that year. First of all come the "essoins" or excuses for non- 
attendance. The list is headed by John Flemyng, which reminds 
us of Levvisham's connection with Flanders. He makes the 
"common excuse," i.e., illness, or that the roads were had, or some 
other lawful hindrance. His excuse is presented by John atte 
Cruche (John at the Cross) and is accepted, and so on with 
twenty-six others. 

Thomas the Miller accuses Sir Walter the Prior of Leuesham 
of trespass — one of the many proofs that the lord of the manor 
could be sued in his own court. 

Ralph Stombelhulle (Stumps Hill nowadays) places himself 
"at the mercy of the lord," for default in making his appearance 
on previous occasions, and is fined 3d. 

William le Webbe brings his plaint against Margery de 
Norwike for trespass. Margery does not put in an appearance 
and is held to be at the lord's mercy, as the phrase was. 


Then come the cases of death amongst the tenants. Richard 
Conpart is dead, and his holding is taken into the lord's hands 
"until further order be taken," i.e., until the lawful heir shall be 
admitted. Similarly with Isabel of Schratholte's holding. 

On the death of a tenant the custom was for the incoming 
tenant to pay a fine, called a "heriot," to the lord of the manor, 
and at this court a heriot was declared due on the death of one 
Simon of Catford, viz., a horse valued at 20s. Afterwards came 
John his son and paid the fine. 

Questions of weights and measures fill up the work of the 
day. Alice Pod, baker, sells "wastell" bread, i.e., bread of the 
finest flour, below the statutory weight, and is fined 4od. She 
was further fined for selling "Koket," an inferior kind of bread, 
below weight. Matilda Bolthod sells a "wigge," another variety 
of bread, below the weight demanded by the Assize of Bread, and 
also "Koket," and for both offences is fined 3s. 2d. and 4od. 

Those who brewed and sold ale contrary to the strength and 
price prescribed by the Assize of Ale, were presented and fined 
various sums from 3d. upwards. There were 61 cases dealt with 
by the court. Apparently ale was sold by anyone who chose to 
brew it. 

At the next Court held shortly after Easter there was a "View 
of Frank Pledge," i.e., the presentments of breaches of the peace 
and drawing blood, hue and cry raised, etc. 

John Scott draws blood from William Palefrayman. John 
Jacob is his pledge. Fine 3d. 

William le Webbe draws blood from William Person. Richard 
Ingeld is his pledge. Fine 6d. 

Adam son of John of Rombergh draws blood from Hubert 
of Rombergh — evidently a family feud. John Jacob will be his 
pledge. Fine 4d. 

A more serious affray is that in which Robert, John and 
William Biwynd are accused of drawing blood from John the 
Shepherd of Amice Godson. Fine i8d. The pledges for the 
peace were William de la Stonyheelde and Richard Redhed. 

Richard Redhed is at the lord's mercy because he held the 
presentment of the Borsholder in contempt. 

Peter the son of Richard the Tailor of Sevenoke drew blood 
from William son of Adam Atteford. John the Tailor of Leuesham 
is his pledge. 

The said John levied the hue and cry unjustly against Terri 
Cobbe. William le Rideler is his pledge. 

Agnes wife of William the Smith levies hue and cry without 
cause against the said Terri Cobbe. Her husband will answer for 

The above cases show the method of keeping the peace. The 
guilty party was "bound over" (as we should say nowadays), a 
neighbour being surety who would be fined if the peace were 


William le Webbe is reported to have made an encroachment 
on the King's highway at " le Thrul," viz., two virgates and a half 
long and in breadth two rods and a half, and is given a set time to 
remove the same, John Jacob acting as his pledge. 

It is also reported to the Court that the highway opposite the 
Court of William de Marinis, one of the larger landowners, is in a 
bad state of repair and the Court orders the bailif to distrain upon 
the said William to repair the same. 

This incident shows us that the repair of the roads was not, 
as now, the business of the local authorities, but was laid upon the 
owner of the adjoining land. 

Upon question put John Jacob and Adam Ede, the "Borges- 
alders " or Headmen of Leuesham, declare that they have made 
their presentments as they ought to make them. 

The sum of the fines, etc., of the Court came to 71s. 6id., of 
which Greenwich should pay 39s. yd. and Leuesham 30s. lod. 
The afferatores or assessors of fines were Amis Godson, Adam 
Atte Forest, and John Calvel. 

At another Court held at Lewisham, in the summer of the 
same year (1301), Robert Lord was summoned for digging turf 
on the common " de la Blakeheth " and is fined 3d. Jurdan the 
Shepherd is also fined a similar amount. Margery Calvel is 
indicted because she to the grievous damage of the lord and all 
the commonalty was wont to dig on the said common. Margery 
claimed an inquisition, which was held and declared her guilty, 
whereupon she is fined 3d. Giles of the Hall and Richard Grey 
and others are similarly fined. 

These instances will show how jealously the common rights 
were guarded against unauthorized encroachment, but at the same 
time their number indicates a growing disregard. 

At the same Court we have the election of certain officers. 
Peter Billuk was elected " Borgesalder " of the "Southborg" of 
Lewisham, Symon le Freend is elected aletaster, and both are 
sworn faithfully to do as they ought. 

Another group of proceedings relates to the year 1320, when 
John de Catford and Peter de Bywyne were " Borghesalders." 
William Ede is elected Borghesalder by the whole homage (the 
freeholders) and Thomas Ede aletaster. Many are fined for 
brewing ale contrary to the assize, including Thomas Brekerop, 
John V'ayrwyne and William Sanguinel. These and others 
mentioned previously will give an idea of the Lewisham names of 
the 14th century and will serve to show how many surnames arose. 

If the Abbot of Ghent was left in peace during the reign of 
Henry HI that period of undisputed possession was now to come 
to an end, mainly on account of the French wars undertaken by 
the Edwards. In 1294 Edward I was engaged in preparing for 
war against the French King, and besides obtaining large supplies 
from both clergy and laity he seized the lands and goods of the 


alien priories. The monks were allowed is. 6d. a week and David 
le Graunt was placed in charge of the Priory of Lewisham for the 
security of the realm, lest, the lands being on the banks of the 
Thames, the aliens might convey intelligence by sea to the enemy. 
This was the pretext that was made from time to time, and during 
the reigns of Edward II, Edward III and Richard II Lewisham 
was frequently taken into the king's hands, the king acting as 
owner and presenting to the vicarage on any vacancy occurring. 

It is not surprising, therefore, to find that the Prior of Lewis- 
ham, acting for the abbot, let the manor on lease whenever he 
could do so. In 1295 Lewisham was leased in this way to Sir 
William de Carletone for three years at an annual rent of ;^90, 
which was to be paid to the king if he was at war with France 
and to the prior if peace was concluded. 

In 1337 the alien priories were seized by reason of the war 
with France, but were formally restored in 1361, and in that year 
Christo Cossimio, Prior of Lewisham, obtained the King's licence 
to visit Flanders and to take with him two attendants, i bow, 
20 arrows, i pipe of salted beef, 8 bacons, and three barrels of 
beer for his use and that of his household. 

In 1380, money being required for the French wars, Lewisham 
was again taken into the King's hands, and a survey was made by 
which the goods were valued at ^2"] 12s. 6d. and the annual 
revenue at 67 marcs. The manor was placed in charge of Sir 
Nicholas Brember for life at an annual rent of 80 marcs. He was 
an alderman of the City of London and was knighted with William 
Walworth when Wat Tyler was slain. After serving as Lord 
Mayor he was concerned in plots against the Duke of Gloucester, 
and was finally executed with an axe of his own design on 
i8th February, 1388. His successor in 1399 was John Norbury, 
squire and treasurer to the king, and an adherent of Henry IV. 

These frequent seizures of their property must have in part 
prepared the monks of Ghent for the final catastrophe. In 1414, 
when Henry V was getting ready for the campaign in France 
which led up to Agincourt, the Commons petitioned him to con- 
sider the case of the alien priories by means of which, they urged, 
the State was impoverished by mone)- being sent out of the 
kingdom to the head houses abroad. They therefore desired the 
King to take these possessions of the foreigner once for all into 
his own hands. 

Henry acceded to the request in a Parliament held at Leicester, 
and in spite of the protests of the Abbot of Ghent, Lewisham and 
Greenwich, which through some 500 years had been in his 
possession, passed away finally, never to return. 

Lewisham was not, however, to remain for long part of the 
possessions of the Crown. Henry was engaged in founding a 
Carthusian priory at Shene, in Surrey, and in 141 5 Lewisham and 
Greenwich were settled upon that house as part of its endowment, 
and for 116 years the Prior of Shene was Lord of the Manor,. 


although, following the example of his predecessor, he frequently 
leased the property. 

The change in ownership did not probably affect the dwellers 
in Lewishnm to any great extent, and things went on pretty much 
as before. The Court Rolls from the 6th to the 9th year of King 
Henry V give us one more brief insight into the life of the people. 
The old division of the manor into Northborow and Southborovv 
continues, a Borsholder for each being elected at the various 
courts, together with an aletaster; those holding these important 
offices in 1420 being 

Norihborow - - Borsholder, Thomas Reed. 
Aletaster, Thomas Lanne. 
Southborow - - Borsholder, Robert Broke. 
Aletaster, John Baly. 

The principal case brought before the Manor Court at this 
time was the action of Robert Chapman, the Vicar, who had 
collected part of his tithe by force. At least that was the con- 
tention of John Fox, the bailiff of the Prior of Shene. According 
to the story told by the latter, Richard Chapman, on Monday next 
after the feast of St. Giles, in the fifth year of King Henry the Fifth, 
at Lewisham in a certain field called Holemanneshell, had entered 
and vi et armis had carried off eight cocks of corn standing in 
sheaves, by which cause the said John was at loss to the value 
of IOCS. The Vicar appeared in person and denied that he came 
vi et armis, but said he was the Vicar of the Church of Lewisham 
and that the said corn was his tithe belonging of right to the 
vicarage. The bailiff, however, declared them to be the tithe which 
being on the demesne lands belonged to the Prior as rector of the 
church. John Horwood, the sub-bailiff, was directed to summon a 
jury to hear the case, but the matter dragged on until 143 1, when 
an arrangement was made between Mr. William Frome, then 
vicar, and the Prior and Convent of Shene, by which the tithes in 
dispute were formally adjudged to the Prior, and the Vicar was 
given half the wax offered in the church on Candlemas Day. A 
profitable arrangement in 143 1, no doubt, but hardly so at the 
present day ! The demesne lands are nowadays held to be tithe free. 

The names of the mills at this period are: — 

Lithyngsmill - This, which formerly belonged to the 
Banquel family, was probably at the 
Bromley end of the parish. 

Fordemylle - - Probably that at Catford. 

Cokesmille - 


Seemanysmille - Also called Brigesmill, and probably that 
belonging to the Bridgehouse Estate. 

Grangemill - - Belonging to the Abbot of Stratford and 
therefore at Bellingham. 


The millers of these mills were all fined for taking excessive 
toll for grinding- corn, contrary to statute. Fines are also recorded 
against those who sold beer by mug instead of by sealed measure. 

During the latter part of the 15th century the people of 
Lewisham were engaged in building the tower of the Parish 
Church, which was commenced about the year 1471. Nearly 
every parishioner who had anything to leave mentions it in his 
will, and we may therefore assume that the project was a popular 

During much of the period through which we have traced the 
story of Lewisham, the Court was frequently at Eltham, where 
Edward I\^ considerably enlarged the palace, rebuilding the great 
hall and other portions. Henry VII seems to have been rather 
partial to Greenwich, and Henry VIII practically deserted Eltham 
for the latter. No doubt it was found easier of access by water 
from London than the long ride over the wild open country of 
Blackheath as it then was. The possessions of the Crown at 
Greenwich were, however, of limited extent, and Henry VIII 
began to look around for means to extend the property. It is 
characteristic that he should at first have endeavoured to oust the 
Prior of Shene on a legal quibble. Henry V had granted Lewisham 
and Greenwich to Shene, as we have seen, but it was now alleged 
that the act of Henry was that of an usurper — being a Lancastrian 
— and that Edward IV had resumed possession of any lands so 
granted. A jury was therefore called together at Deptford in 1518 
to try the Prior's title to the estates. At the enquiry it was shown 
that Lewisham and Greenwich had been given to Shene by 
Henry V, and that on the 19th July, 1461, Edward IV had 
confirmed the gift, and the Prior's right was therefore unassailable 
at law. Amongst the evidence it is interesting to note that it was 
recorded that Edward III had seized Lewisham and Greenwich in 
1338 by reason of the war with France, and that they had remained 
in the hands of Richard II throughout his reign, and in those of 
Henry IV and V for the same reason, and were held throughout 
as of fee and by right of the Crown of England. 

As Prior Joburn was not to be dispossessed by foul means, 
Henry proceeded to try and eff"ect an exchange, and in 1531 this 
was arranged, Lewisham and Greenwich passing into his hands in 
lieu of certain property elsewhere, thus hastening by a few years 
what would have occurred at the dissolution of Shene Priory. 

The religious changes of the middle of the i6th century made 
considerable alterations in the ownership of a large part of the 
parish. Bellingham, lying between Catford and Southend, which 
belonged to the Cistercian Monastery of Stratford Langthorne, in 
Essex, came to the Crown, and in 1547 the College of St. Lawrence 
Poultney, in London, was suppressed, by which the Manor of 
Catford also came into the royal hands. In the reign therefore of 
Edward VI for a brief period the whole of the manorial rights in 
the district were reunited under the King as Lord of the Manor. 


This lasted but for a year or two, for in 1548 Catford was granted 
to Henry Polstede, of Chiieworth, and William More, of Loseley, 
both in Surrey, for the sum of ;^2,034 14s. lod.; in 1550 Lewis- 
ham Manor was granted to John, Earl of Warwick ; and in 1554 
Bellingham was conferred on Richard Whetely, to whom a lease 
had already been granted by the last Abbot of Stratford. 

The Earl of Warwick did not long retain Lewisham but 
exchanged it with the king for other property, and it was then, in 
1547, given to the king's uncle, Thomas Lord Seymour of 
Sudeley, k.g.. Great Admiral of England, in support of his 
dignities. Two years later Lord Seymour was beheaded by order 
of his brother, the Protector Somerset, on a charge of designing 
to seize the king's person, and the Manor of Lewisham then 
reverted to the Crown. 

Queen Mary granted it to Cardinal Pole and the clergy of 
England, but on the accession of Queen Elizabeth it again became 
Crown property, and was leased to Henry Knolles, Esq., who had 
successive leases which came to Sir Francis Knolles, a man much 
esteemed by the Queen, who made him Captain of her Guard, 
Treasurer of the Household and a Knigfht of the Garter. 

From the i6th Century to the Present Time. 

HAVE referred in the previous chapter to the 
religious changes which, by the dissolution of the 
monasteries, altered so greatly the tenure of 
much of the land in Lewisham as elsewhere. It 
will be fitting that a brief account should be given 
of these changes which affected the everyday 
outlook of our predecessors. And here we should express our 
satisfaction that the same man was Vicar of Lewisham during the 
whole period of change, a man of moderate views, full of pity 
for the poor, large-hearted and generous if we may judge from his 
will. Mr. John Glynn was appointed vicar by Henry VHI in 1546, 
and he continued vicar through the reigns of Edward VI, Queen 
Mary, and until Elizabeth had been ten years firmly seated on the 
throne. Whether we agree with the changes which were made, 
or think they went too far or not far enough, changes were 
ordered by law, and it must have been greatly to the advantage 
of Lewisham that its spiritual head at the time was a man whose 
views permitted him to carry them out with as little dislocation 
of thought as possible. When he came to Lewisham there were 
two endowed chantry priests to assist him. These were sup- 


pressed in the first year of Edward VI, and the revenues seized 
into the King's treasury. The principal change which had hitherto 
been made within the parish church itself was the removal of the 
various images therein, before which it had been customary to burn 
lapers "for a remembrance unto prayer." In 1549 the English 
Prayer Book was introduced, largely founded on the older Latin 
•services. Meanwhile the extreme Reformers had commenced to 
destroy, sell, or steal the valuable plate and vestments which the 
requirements of the mediseval ritual and the piety of parishioners 
bad caused to be provided for the services of the church. A 
•commission was therefore appointed in 1552 which ordered an 
inventory to be taken of all the parish church goods, and these 
were delivered to the churchwardens for safe keeping. The 
intention was to leave sufficient for the proper administration of 
divine service and to annex the remainder for the King's use. 
Edward's death probably prevented this, but to what extent is 
uncertain. The inventory for Lewisham was drawn up on the i6th 
November, 1552, by Richard Dyngly and Richard Howlett, gentle- 
men, the churchwardens. It tells us there were two silver chalices, 
one of 23 ounces the other of 14 ounces, altar clothes of yellow and 
blue; copes of blue velvet, blue silk and green silk, chasubles 
of white satin, red velvet, blue silk, red silk and black; crosses, 
candlesticks, censers, etc., of latten, a "paire of organes," four 
great bells of brass in the steeple, and many other items. The 
inventory for Lee is equally full. Edward VI died on 6th July, 
1553, and in Queen Mary's reign the old order was reverted to, 
when no doubt such of these vestments as remained came again 
into use, dying out gradually in Elizabeth's time, although they 
probably lingered as long as Mr. Glynn was vicar. He died in 
1568, and in his will he gave little bequests to a very large number 
of his poorer parishioners, and left ;^ioo to found a grammar 
school. His executors were David Morgan, a city merchant, and 
Mr. William Roper, of Wellhall, Eltham, whose wife was 
Margaret, the daughter of Sir Thomas More, and who was 
regarded as a "popish recusant." 

It is in his bequest for a school that Mr. Glynn claims our 
interest. It laid the foundation of what we now called "Secondary 
Education" in Lewisham, His successor in the vicarage was 
Mr. John Bungay, a nephew of Archbishop Parker, by whose 
means a charter was obtained from Queen Elizabeth in 1574 for 
founding a Free Grammar School, which, refounded some seventy 
years later by the Rev. Abraham Colfe, has proved of incalculable 
benefit to many generations of Lewisham's youth. 

Of Lewisham during the reign of Queen Elizabeth we have 
but little details. The manor belonged to the Crown, but was 
leased to Sir Francis Knolles as before related. The great Queen 
came frequently to Greenwich, and on May Day, 1602, went 
a-niaying to Sir Richard Bulkley's at Lewisham. This may have 
been the occasion when she lunched under the shade of the oak on 

Plate 7. — Map of Lewisham, 1745. 


the hill between Forest Hill and Brockle)-, which has ever since 
been called Honor Oak; but from its nearness to Greenwich she 
doubtless was often in the parish, and there were legends of 
her visiting the Earl of Essex at Place House, near Catford Bridge. 

The accession of James I brought ultimately another master 
to Lewisham. Amongst the followers who accompanied him from 
Scotland was John Ramsay, Viscount Haddington, who when a 
page attending him at the house of Earl Gowry at Perth on the 5th 
August, 1600, was instrumental in discovering and frustrating 
the attempt that was made there on the life of the King. Ramsay 
was created Viscount Haddington for this service, and in 1620 
was further made Baron of Kingston-on-Thames and Earl of 
Holderness, and as a special honour he and his heirs male were 
to bear the sword of state before the king on the 5th day of 
August as a memorial of his act. In 1624 King James announced 
to his Council at Westminster that in consideration of the great 
services rendered to him by the Earl of Holderness, and at the 
earl's request, he intended to bestow the Manor of Lewisham upon 
Edward and Robert Ramsay; and this he did on 2gth June in that 
year, the grant apparently to take effect on the expiry of the lease 
held by Sir Francis Knolles. Edward and Robert Ramsay con- 
veyed the manor to Sir George Ramsay, the brother of the earl 
and his heir, who died in 1629, when it descended to his eldest 
son, John Ramsay of Winlaton in co. Durham, who sold it on 
23rd May, 1640, to Raynald Graham, of Humington in Yorkshire, 
citizen and draper of London. 

The history of Lewisham during the first half of the 17th 
century is largely the history of the vicariate of that remarkable 
man, the Rev. Abraham Colfe, who filled the office for nearly fifty 
years. The son of the Rev. Richard Colfe, Prebendary of Christ 
Church, Canterbury, he was born in that city on 7th August, 1580. 
He was educated at the King's School, Canterbury, and Christ 
Church, Oxford, and taking holy orders he came to Lewisham 
in 1604 as curate to the saintly Hadrian de Saravia, the friend 
and confessor of Richard Hooker. King James had granted the 
next presentation to the vicarage to William Beeston, of Canter- 
bury, evidently a friend of the family, and when in 1610 Saravia 
resigned Lewisham for the rectory of Great Chart, which was 
nearer Canterbury, Abraham Colfe was appointed Vicar, being 
instituted on ist May of that year. Most faithfully did he fill 
the office, and until his death in 1657 he spent his whole time in 
labouring for the spiritual and temporal welfare of his parishioners. 

His first great public work was his successful resistance of 
the attempt that was made to enclose Westwood or Sydenham 
Common. This consisted of about 500 acres, covering the part 
of the parish now occupied by Sydenham and Forest Hill. These 
common lands — which, such as Blackheath, are now largely used 
for recreation — were, in the period with which we are now dealing, 
the mainstay of the poorer inhabitants, who not only had pasture 

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thereon for their cattle, but by cutting furze obtained fuel. It was, 
then, with feelings of dismay that Lewisham heard in 1605 that 
King James had granted the common of Westwood to Henry 
Newport, one of the gentry of the place. 

When Henry VHI obtained Lewisham from the Priory of 
Shene in 1531 the exchange was ratified by an Act of Parliament, 
in which there was a clause that the exchange was not to be 
hurtful to any person concerning the right of "common" which 
any might or ought to have therein. The Crown, however, seems 
to have considered that Westwood Common was a portion of 
the demesne lands of the manor, and thus the trouble came about. 

Mr. Colfe has left several notes on the subject, one of which 
begins: "Memorandum, that in y* yeares of our Lord 1614 and 
1 61 5 we had many troubles and suites concerning our common 
of Westwood being in quantity about 500 acres of ground where- 
vnto the Lord of his mercy gave a good issue in y^ end. The 
occasion was this: Henry Newport of Lewsham gentleman, and 
yeoman of y^ boiling house to King James, having lived long in 
our parish, in y« yeare 1605 begged this common of the King and 
made meanes to his Majesty for a lease of it at a yearely rent." 

The inhabitants appear to have taken action at once, and 
claimed that they had always had common of pasture for all 
manner of cattle without number and at all times {i.e., that the 
land was not half-year land), and also common of estovers and 
shreddings of all trees growing on the said common, and they 
produced in proof the recollections of the "oldest inhabitants." 

"Stephen Batt of Croydon of the age of 98 yeares testifieth for 
the same comon by the name of Westwood or Sheenewood in his 
knowledge 80 yeares agoe and never heard the contrary which testi- 
mony was five yeares before the same Acte was made {i.e., 1525). 

"John Heathe of the age of 90 yeares testifiethe for the same 
comon for 75 yeares which was at the time of the Acte made that 
it was then in his knowledge a comon and alwaies so was used 
and that he never harde the contrary. 

"Thomas Frenche of Bromley of the age of 80 yeares testifieth 
for the same common for 70 yeares. Arnolde Kinge of Beckenham 
of the age of 78 yeares testifiethe for the same comon in his know- 
ledge for 65 yeares." 

It will be noticed that the Lewisham folk were careful to call 
in the testimony of their neighbours who had no personal interest 
in the open land. 

Thus attacked Mr. Henry Newport made suit for a com- 
mission of enquiry, and Sir Thomas Walsingham, Sir Ralph 
Boswell, Henry Heyman, surveyor, and Michael Berisfforde were 
appointed "for the surveying and finding of a parcel of waste 
ground in Lewsham in the county of Kent called Westwood to 
be the King's and therein especially to enquire whether it be the 
King's own waste in demesne or whether it be the King's waste 
but yet a comon withall and of what yearly valewe it is." 


"On the 25th April 1606 the Commissioners did sitt at 
Greenwich to enquire and after evidence given to the jurye and 
the greater parte of the same jury meaninge to give up their 
verdict that WestwooJ was the king's waste and yet a comon, 
they were dissolved and left for that time, whereby that Com- 
mission was expired. 

"Since which time the aforesaide Henri Newporte going 
about to defeat the inhabitants of Lew-sham of their saide Comon 
hathe secretly made an inquisition in a remote place and alto- 
gether without the knowledge of the saide inhabitants by that 
meanes seeking to get some sinister testimony uppon recorde 
againste the inhabitants and also to prevent them of geving their 
evidence unto the jury as defendaunts of their rights of Comon." 

The following "Humble Petition of the inhabitants of the 
parrishe of Lewsham" was accordingly made: — 

"Wherefore the poore inhabitants of Lewsham aforesaide 
most humbly praye the Right Honorable the Earl of Saiisburye 
in respect of his greate wisdom and justice and because he is the 
high Stewarde of Lewsham aforesaide that he wil be pleased to 
be informed of the sayd Newportes unjust proceedings and to 
relieve the poor inhabitants of Lewsham aforesaid that being 
above 500 poore housholders with wives and manye children 
greately relieved by the sayde Common and would be utterly 
undone yf y' should be unjustly taken from then. So shall theese 
poore inhabitants be alwaycs ready to praye God as nevertheles 
for his honours long life and happie dayes with much increase of 

The case came again before the Court of Exchequer in 1607. 
"After dinner, on a Starre Chamber day," notes Mr. Colfe, "and 
againe y*^ 9th of November 1608 but either Newport non suited 
himself or other error fell out in y*^ proceedings so y' he obtained 
not as yet his purpose." 

But the good people of Lewisham were by no means secure. 
Presumably trusting that the Crown lawyers knew what they were 
doing, Mr. Newport in 1614 joined two more with him, namely, 
Robert Raynes, gent., sergeant of the buckhounds, and Innocent 
Lanyer, of Greenwich, one of the King's musicians, and they 
jointly took a lease from the king of 347 acres of land in West- 
wood for a term of sixty years, and then, says Mr. Colfe, "began 
very much to vexe y^ inhabitants." 

Seeing that their rights were now invaded in earnest, the 
parishioners, under the leadership of Mr. Colfe, took measures 
to defend themselves, and lodged a complaint against Newport 
and his co-patentees. After some preliminary proceedings it was 
agreed that Mr. John Burnett, one of the principal inhabitants, 
who amongst others claimed to have common rights in Westwood, 
should be sued as representing the parish. The trial took place 
on 14th October, 1614, with a jury of the County of Kent, and 



iudp-ment was given for the king against the parishioners on the 
noint in dispute Mr. Colfe records that John Sherman, of Green- 
"ch^as reman of the jury and that Henry Dobb.ns and H^nry 
Abbott of Greenwich, and John Leech, of Depttord, were 
members, as though to infer that their judgment was b.ased for 
ff>ar of offendine the holders of the lease. . ^ 4.u 

Presen ly the patentees began to make dxtches about he 
common and' inclosed it, and drove -^ -"'J. ^''I^'^.^.^r^;;^ °^^^^^^^^ 
cattle of the inhabitants. A crisis had arrived, and the Vicar 
evdently saw that a final effort must be made. He therefore 
clfed too-eth^r about a hundred of his parishioners and, placing 
htmtelf at their head, set out for London to make a personal 

'^''sho°rtly\Sofethis (1607) there had been several disturbances 

Plate 10.— A View at Lewisham, 1770. 
in the Midlands on the same subject, and King James gave special 
orders to the Commission appointed to enquire into the cause, that 
care was to be taken that the poor received no injury by the 
encroachments of their richer neighbours. The people ot Lewis- 
ham may therefore have felt assured of a sympathetic hearing. 

Colfe's own report is in the following words^:-" Wherefore 
neer 100 people young and old went through y^ City of London 
and a little on this side of Topnam high-crosse P^/'^of ^ king 
lames who very graciously heard y- petition and ordered the 
Lords of his Privy Counsell should take a course that he might 
be no more troubled about it." , „.wu 

The other side naturally did not take these proceedings \\ith 
equanimity, and promptly put in a petition :— 

"Whereas on December 20th 1614 Mr. Abraham Colfe \ icar 


of Lewisham led through the City of London one hundred of his 
parishioners to Tottenam High Cross and there petitioned his 
Majesty against the privileges granted to our clients in the 
common of Westwood, and made many and slanderous accusa- 
tions against them thereby filling the ear of his most sacred 
Majesty with injurious regard of our clients. And whereas our 
clients are desirous to maintain the good esteem of their most 
dread sovereign and the peaceable occupation of the lands that 
have been granted to them and which they have at much cost 
fenced, etc., they desire to be confirmed in their possession." 

Mr. Colfe appears to have heard of this petition, and being 
now thoroughly aroused, he, in the name of the parishioners, 
addressed petitions not only to the Earl of Salisbury but to the 
Earl of Somerset, Lord High Chamberlain, and to the Archbishop 
of Canterbury. This last gives a good picture of the proceedings, 
and may, therefore, fitly be quoted here. 

"To y^ right reverend father in God the Lord Archbishop of 
Canterburj' his Grace Primate and Metropolitan of all England 
and one of his Majesties most Hon. Privy Councell. The humble 
petition of his Majesties poor tenants y^ inhabitants of Lewsham 
in Kent neere Greenwich. 

"Most humbly shew to your grace many hundreds of y^ 
poore distressed inhabitants of Lewsham y' whereas we have time 
out of mind quietly enjoyed a wast peece of ground of 500 acres 
called y* Comon o^ Westwood (as we can shew by auncient deeds 
since y^ 5th or 9th yeare of King Henry y^ 5th being 196 years 
past, by an Act of Parliament reserving y^ commons of y^ manor 
of Lewsham to y^ inhabitants, by y*^ Kings owne records calling 
it Westwood lying open and common and by witnesses for 80 
yeares as long as man can remember) yet Robert Raynes, Innocent 
Lanier and Henry Newport three of his Majesties servants ob- 
tained a grant and a lease for 60 yeares from his Majesty of y^ 
said common upon a rent of 40 markes by y'= yeare and y^ last 
terme impleaded your poor suppliants in y^ Court of Exchequer 
and gott a verdict and judgment and are now closing y'' said 
common to y^ utter vndoing of above 500 poore people. And 
whereas thei had possessed diverse of y^ nobles and by them hade 
meanes to informe his Majesty that only 2 or 3 had y^ chief benefitt 
of y^ common and not y^ poore, we were inforced to ^oq about 
and ICO'* of vs y*" 19 of December with petition to y*^ Kings 
Majestie for his mercifull favore, who most graciously promised we 
should have justice and in y^ end referred y^ consideracon of our 
petition to y*^ Lords of his Privy Councell. We most humbly desire 
your grace when our petition shall come to be heard before you 
that your grace will afford us your gracious favour for our quiet 
enjoying of y* said common, it being as we do solemnly protest a 
chief stay and maintenance for pasture of cattell, furses and bushes 
for fyering to above 500 poore people and we shall pray to God 
for your graces health long life and eternall happiness." 


The parishioners also took up the cudgels on behalf of their 
leader, who was being subjected to a personal attack at Court. 

" We y* inhabitants of y* parish of Lewsham in Kent whose 
names are under written hearing of the sundry defamations and 
vncharitable speeches given out in a petition to y*= King's Majesty 
against Abraham Colfe Vicar of our parish, and being desired by 
him to testify our knowledge of his behaviour among us doe 
solemnly protest before God and witnes this for a truth unto all 
those whom it may concerne that the said Abraham Colfe having 
lived as a curate and vicar these lo yeares among us hath not to 
our knowledg demeaned himself otherwise than becometh the 
minister of God's Word; for he hath bene very painfull in his 
calling, duly preaching once (and for y"^ great part of the summer 
twice every Sabath among us) liberall to y^ poore, given to 

Plate 11. — A View at Lewisham, 1770. 

hospitality and other good workes, in his life peaceable, not having 
had any one suit or controversy in law all this time against any of 
us; no way savouring of a factious or sedicious spirit neither in 
publick or private speeches or actions; but continually dehorting 
us during y'^ time of our distressed suit about our common both 
from reviling them in speeches y' have sought to get away y^ 
meanes of our living and from performing anv outward act y' 
might be either offensive to his Majestie of prejudicial! to y^ lavves 
of y<= realme. " 

The result of these petitions was that the Privy Council 
referred the matter to the Lord Chief Baron and Sir Edward 
Bromley, one oi the Barons of the Court of Exchequer to endeavour 
to mediate between the parishioners and Newport and his friends. 
But the latter demanded ;^i,ooo as compensation, and seeing 


that there was no chance of agreement it was arranged that there 
should be a new trial, and that Mr. John Eaton, gentleman, of 
Lewisham, should be the defendant as representing the parishioners. 

The patentees (Newport, Lanier and Raynes) being in possession, 
were permitted to hold the ground meanwhile, and the gates and 
ditches destroyed by the inhabitants were ordered to be repaired 
(from which we may infer that there had been some lively pro- 
ceedings at Sydenham), on the other hand they were not to burn 
or sell any of the furze growing in or upon the common nor 
" disturbe or interrupt the said inhabitants of the Manor of 
Lewisham nor any other his Majestie's liege people to the use of 
all such wayes as have heretofore byn used in through or by or 
over the said parcell of ground called Westwood " until the trial 
and further order had been given. 

Notwithstanding this order, one Henry Benden, the servant of 
Mr. Lanier, continued to drive off the cattle of the inhabitants and 
hindered the cutting of furze for fuel — a particularly harsh act, 
seeing that it was mid-winter. Upon this being represented the 
Lord Treasurer and the Chancellor sent an order commanding 
the patentees to desist. "Yet," says Mr. Colfe in one of his notes, 
" Henry Benden and other of the patentees servants still drove 
•off the cattell and spoiled some of them to death and would not 
let the poore have furzes. Hereupon the 22nd day being Ash 
Wednesday, Henry Benden being at church after service I gave 
him advise and wished him not to molest the poore in such sort by 
•driving and hurting their cattel and hindering them of furzes: for 
if he should be sent for by a pursevant and committed for his 
contempt I thought his master (namely Mr. Lanier) would not 
beare him out in it." 

But the end was now in sight. On the i6th of October, 
1615, the case came on for hearing before the Barons of the 
Exchequer and a jury chosen out of Kent, amongst whom there 
was no one belonging to the immediately neighbouring parishes, 
and adds Mr. Colfe, "The Lord's holy name for ever for his great 
tender mercies be blessed a verdict passed in the behalf of the poore 
inhabitants and on the i8th November following judgment was also 
granted and a copy both of the order and of y^ judgment taken out 
under the seale of the Exchequier Chamber w'^'^ is kept by us." 

So ended the controversy, and the people of Lewisham, thanks 
to the energy and persistence of their vicar, were left in undisturbed 
possession of Westwood Common. 

Whilst the troubles over Westwood Common were still 
unsettled Mr. Colfe was engaged in another work for the good of 
the parish. It will be remembered that his predecessor, John Glynn, 
had left money to found a Free School, for which a charter had 
been granted by Queen Elizabeth in 1574. In 1612 all the 
governors named in that charter were dead save one, Mr. Edmund 
Style, and little progress had apparently been made with the 
scheme. Mr. Hurpole, the schoolmaster, was present at Colfe's 


induction to the vicarage, but it is clear that the school was not 
on a satisfactory footing. A fresh body of governors was there- 
fore appointed in 1613 by Mr. Style, under the charter, of whom 
Abraham Colfe was one. The years went by and no progress ^ 
could be made, presumably for want of funds, and Colfe then 
decided to refound the school and endow it himself. For this 
purpose he saved all the money he could devote to the purpose, 
buying land in various parts of the parish — mostly at Lower 
Sydenham and Catford. In 1634 he approached the Leathersellers* 
Company, who already owned some land in the parish at Perry 
Hill, and they agreed to become his trustees. 

The political and religious horizon had meanwhile become 
dark with the clouds of the coming storm, and it is necessary in 
order to understand the position of affairs to refer briefly to the 
events which were happening in London and the country generally. 

In 1633 Laud was advanced to the Archbishopric of Canterbury, 
and endeavoured, unfortunately not always in the most tactful 
manner, to remedy the state of indiscipline into which the English 
Church had fallen. The Puritan movement had been slowly rising 
throughout the reign of James I, the Archbishop's proceedings 
were met by the most violent opposition, and on the assembling of 
the Long Parliament in 1640 he was impeached of high treason 
and committed to the Tower. 

One of his orders, which gave offence to the Puritans, was a 
direction that the communion tables were to be placed at the 
upper end of the chancels and railed in to prevent irreverence. The 
order was generally obeyed, but in 1641 the Commons ordered the 
removal of the rails. 

Amongst the Sloan MSS. in the British Museum is a diary 
kept by one Nehemiah Wallington, who lived in the parish of 
St. Leonard, Eastcheap, of which Mr. Colfe was also \'icar, and 
in this is the following note: — 

" Of the exp^oits that I heere very credably the solgars did in 
Kent. At Lusume the 9th January, 1641, being Satterday at night 
when they were ringing y*= belles, the Railes that were about the 
Communion Table ware pulled up, and it is not knowen who did 
it, nor what became of them, as it is thought they were cast into 
the river and so carPied quite away." 

The quarrel between Charles I and Parliament had meanwhile 
developed into the Civil War which led by slow steps to the King's 
execution in 1649. No engagement took place near Lewisham, 
but the mustering of troops on Blackheath from time to time must 
have helped to bring events home to our predecessors, whilst the 
frequent orders of the House of Commons in matters pertaining to 
religion left few places untouched. Amongst these was a scheme 
in 1642 for appointing preaching lecturers in various parishes, the 
parochial clergy being required to lend their pulpits. In many 
places the appointments were no doubt justified by the want of 
zeal on the part of the incumbents, but this can hardly have been 


the case at Lewisham, since we are told that Colfe preached twice 
every Lord's Day and expounded some port on of Holy Scnpture 
on Wednesdays, Fridays and Holy Days. Nevertheless, a section 
o? the parishioners petitioned Parliament for a lecturer, and a 
Sr John Batchelor was appointed. The Vicar and his friends 
offered strong opposition to the arrangement, and so much so that 
the orignal petitioners addressed a complaint to the House of 
Lords i5 1643 and an order was issued to restore Mr. Batchelor to 
the lee ureship. We hear no more of the matter except tha the 
-impudent le^cturer," as Colfe calls him, endeavoured to get the 
vicTr^ deprived of his vicarage. Nehemiah Wallington mentioned 
Ibove add essed a long lettel- to Mr. Colfe, in which he urged him 
to gTve up the use of the Prayer Book and upbraided him for his 
want of sympathy with the lecturer. 

That Colfe and the parishioners generally took the Solemn 
Lea-ue and Covenant in 1644 is practically certain, since no 
excerptions were allowed and refusal meant deprivation and fine 
but there is no documentary evidence on the subject, ^U the parish 
papers having been burnt in 1830. In 1645 the use of he Book of 
Common Prayer was forbidden under heavy penalties. In 1648 
cX wrote to the Leathersellers saying that the hardness of the 
t^mes and other things had obstructed the settling of the work he 
intended for the parish, and it was not until four years later that 
he was able to complete the buildings for the Grammar School 
which was opened on loth June, 1652, on a site granted by 
Mr Raynold Graham, Lord of the Manor, with the consent of the 
Court Leet, being then part of Blackheath. To the school was 
atta hed a ree library, and a reading school was also set up near 
the church where what we should call an elementary education 
was given, it being intended- that the most deserving boys should 
Zo on to the Grammar School and so to the University, k 
complete system of education, in fact (see Plate 8, page 43)- 

Thus did this benefactor to the parish pass his days until his 
death on the ^th December, 1657. , , -k, c 

Mr. Raynold Graham, who had purchased the Manor of 
Lewisham in 1640, married Susannah, second daughter of Sir 
William Washington, of Packington, in Leicestershire whose 
eldest daughter, Elizabeth, had married Colonel WilhamLegge, a 
devoted adherent of Charles J. Mr. Graham had no children, and 
on the 30th May, 1673, he conveyed the manor to his nephew 
Georee Legge. Mrs. Graham continued to live in the parish, in 
Dartmouth Row. until her death in February, 1699, and sometime 
prior to 1695 built -the first portion of a chapel there for the 
residents around, which has since in an enlarged form become the 
Church of the Ascension. . ,. , • 

The Legges, who thus became the Lords of the Manor, claim 
descent from Thomas Legge, Lord Mayor of London in 1346 
and 1354. His great grandson, William, went to Ireland, and it 
tas Edward, the son of this William Legge, who may be said to 


have laid the foundation of the family's fortune. He accompanied 
Sir Walter Raleigh to the West Indies, and on his return to 
Ireland he was made Vice-President of Munster. His son William, 
commonly known as Colonel Legge, suffered severely for his 
espousal of the cause of Charles I, and on the accession of 
Charles II, received many marks of royal favour, and amongst 
other appointments was Master of the Armoury at Greenwich. 

George Legge, his eldest son and heir, who received Lewisham 
from his uncle, had a varied life on sea and land. As an Admiral 
of the Fleet he was sent to demolish Tangier, and received a 
grant of ;^io,ooo for his services. In 1673 he was Governor of 
Portsmouth, Master of the Horse, Master of the Ordnance and 
Colonel of a regiment of foot, and in 1682 was created Baron 
Dartmouth. He was deprived of his appointments by William III, 
and committed to the Tower, where he died in 1691. 

His tenure of the Lordship of Lewisham was marked by the 
grant he obtained in 1682 for a fair to be held twice a year and a 
market twice a week on Blackheath. The market house was 
erected on the east side of Dartmouth Row, between what is now 
known as The Grove and Dartmouth Hill. 

His son, William, was made a Privy Councillor by Queen 
Anne, and created Viscount Lewisham and Earl of Dartmouth in 
171 1, the former title being held ever since by the eldest son. He 
and his grandson, who succeeded him as second Earl of Dartmouth, 
resided much at Blackheath, and entered largely into the local 
life. Whitfield was much thought of by the first Earl, and with 
Wesley preached frequently upon Blackheath to enormous crowds. 

In 1774 the old Parish Church, which had become too small 
for the increasing population — it must be remembered that it was 
the only place of worship in the whole parish except the little 
chapel in Dartmouth Row and a small Presbyterian chapel at 
Sydenham — was in a dangerous state, and an Act of Parliament 
was obtained for rebuilding it. In the time of the second Earl of 
Dartmouth the fair on Blackheath, which had been in existence 
about 90 years, was discontinued owing to the undesirable 
characters it brought together. It had been held on the 12th, 
13th and 14th of May, and nth, 12th and 13th October in each 
year. Cattle were, however, permitted to be sold on the 12th May 
and nth October, but no booths were allowed to be put up 
without the Earl's permission. 

In the steps taken for the defence of the kingdom during the 
Napoleonic Wars the neighbourhood took its share. A small 
body of Blackheath Yeomanry was formed in 1798, and in the 
same year a four-company corps of Lewisham Volunteers was 
raised under Lieut. -Colonel John Forster. Of this corps other 
officers were Major Mayow Wynell Mayow (of Sydenham), Captain 
Abraham Constable (of Mount Pleasant House), Lieutenant Henry 
Mills (of the Limes), Ensign Thomas Watson Parker, and others. 
This was succeeded in 1803 by the Loyal Lewisham and Lee 


Volunteer Infantry under Lieut. -Col. the Right Hon. Charles Long 
i(of Bromley Hill House). Several officers of tlie old corps held 
commissions in the new regiment, and others joined, including 
Mr. S. C. Brandram, of Lee. In 1810 a corps of Local Militia was 
formed at Blackheath under Lieut. -Colonel Sir T. Maryon Wilson, 
Bart. With the final overthrow of Napoleon at Waterloo the 
need for these local efforts ceased, and the corps were disbanded. 

Up to this period Lewisham maintained its old rural character, 
but the population had gradually increased from about 2,000 in 
Colfe's days, with 500 houses, to 4,000 in 1801, with about 
700 houses. Of these about 120 were round Sydenham Common, 
about 40 at Southend, and over 100 on and around Blackheath. 
It was in the time of the fourth Earl of Dartmouth, who succeeded 
to the title in 1810 and died in 1853, that the place began to grow 
into a London suburb. In 1810 an Act of Parliament was obtained 
for enclosing all the common and waste ground in the parish, 
except Blackheath, together with the Lammas or half-year lands, 
containing about 350 acres. This was following the course which 
was going on all over the country. The old open field system, 
which worked well enough in the Middle Ages, was found to be 
inconvenient with the altered conditions and ideas of the 19th 
century. One cannot but regret that a portion at least of Sydenham 
Common, for which Colfe had striven so strenuously, was not left 
as an open space. This has, however, been remedied in recent 
years to a small extent by the formation of Wells Park on the 
upper slopes of Sydenham Hill. 

The opening of the North Kent Railway to Lewisham and 
Blackheath in 1849 and of the Mid Kent Line to Ladywell and 
Lower Sydenham in 1857, brought a great influx of population, 
and consequent building in their train, whilst the erection of 
Hither Green Station on the main line in 1895 has led to a con- 
siderable town being built on what was the Earl of St. German's 
estate in that part of the parish. Under the London Government 
Act of 1899 Lewisham and Lee were united and formed into a 
Metropolitan Borough, and the population is now 152,000. 

The old manorial rights and customs have gradually dis- 
appeared, or have been transferred to the Police Courts, the 
County and Borough Councils, and other bodies, as will be more 
fully explained in another chapter, but the Court Leet is still held 
yearly at the "Green Man," and solemnly elects a jury, with con- 
stables, aletasters, common drivers, pound keepers and appraisors, 
and duly declares all who have not done "suit and service" 
as amerced in the sum of is. It is to be hoped that this relic of 
Lewisham of the past may yet long continue, for it carries us back 
in an unbroken chain to the local assemblies of the days of 
Leof-sunu and of Elfrida. It reminds us of the rise and fall of the 
feudal system, the decay of which has led by many steps to the 
gradual emancipation of the people as they became fitted for the 
change, to their present position as a self-governing community. 


an 5tinerar^ of tbe 3BorouQb. 

From Blackheath to the Clock Tower. 

HERE are few places that can show a richer record 
of historical interest than Blackheath. Its ample 
extent, its proximity to London, and the ancient 
homes of our kings at Eltham and Greenwich 
have all combined to make it the meeting ground 
of royalist and rebel alike, the scene of fights 
real and mimic, of encampments without number, and pageants 
connected with some of the most stirring events in the history of 
the country. It will then be a fitting place from which to start on 
our itinerary of the Borough of Lewisham, within the bovmds of 
which the greater part of the Heath lies. 

The Hundred of Blackheath, which comprises the seven parishes 
in the north-west corner of Kent, is styled the Hundred of Grenviz 
or Greenwich in Domesday, but by the time of Edward I the title 
had been changed to that of Blackheath. The name has been 
variously derived from the colour of the soil — which seems rather 
fanciful — and its bleak situation, which is probably the more correct. 
It appears in early charters and court rolls as the Common " de la 
Blake Hethe." On the Heath are various ill-defined mounds, 
which have been designated British, Saxon, Danish and Roman 
by various investigators. The mount known as Whitfield's Mount 
has been thought by some to be a British burial place, but the 
whole surface of the Heath has been so continually disturbed from 
time to time, that it is almost impossible to assign any of the earth- 
works with certainty to a particular period. 

After crossing Shooters Hill the Roman Road,Watrmg Street, 
passed along what is now called the Old Dover Road, and crossed 
that part of the Heath now Greenwich Park. Here, along the edge 
of the road by Vanbrugh Park, and within the confines of Greenwich 
Park, Roman remains have been discovered, including portions of 
a villa excavated in 1903 by Mr. Herbert Jones, f.s a.* The road 
probably passed down the slopes to Croom's Hill (the name savours 
of a Celtic origin), and crossed the Ravensbourne near Creek 

* See an illustrated account in the "Home Counties Magazine" of July, 1903. 


Bridge on its way towards London over the marshes, but this is a 
point which yet awaits investigation, and, moreover, Hes outside 
the area of our perambulation. 

It has been conjectured that the Danes encamped on Black- 
heath in A.D. loii, when, after taking Archbishop Alfege prisoner 
at Canterbury, they advanced towards London. They more 
probably came up the river in their ships, and seizing upon Green- 
wich they cruelly murdered the Archbishop there upon his refusal 
to allow himself to be ransomed. 

The first great gathering on Blackheath, of which we have 
historical evidence, was that connected with the Peasant Revolt in 
the time of Richard II, commonly called Wat Tyler's Rebellion. 
Tyler with Jack Straw and John Ball and their Kentish adherents, 
to the number of 100,000, after capturing the Castle of Rochester 
moved on to Blackheath, where they encamped prior to the descent 
on London. The mount on the Heath has been called Wat Tyler's 
Mount, but on what authority, save uncertain tradition, cannot be 

A scene of much magnificence must have been the meeting on 
the Heath between Henry IV and the Emperor Manuel Palaeologus, 
who came in 1400 to entreat for assistance against the Turks. But 
a far more interesting spectacle was that which took place on 
Saturday, 23rd November, 14 15, on the return of Henry V from 
Agincourt. The night previous, coming from Canterbury, he had 
slept at Eltham, and on the Saturday morning at 10 o'clock the 
Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City in their red robes and a 
great concourse of the citizens in red cloaks with red and white 
hoods, came out to Blackheath where they met the King, and with 
great acclamations escorted him to the City. There had probably 
never before been such a scene of popular enthusiasm. In the 
next year the Mayor and citizens again repaired to Blackheath to 
meet the Emperor Sigismund, who with a large retinue was 
escorted by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Bedford 
and the Duke of Clarence. Henry himself awaited their arrival at 
St. Thomas's Watering Place. After Henry's marriage with 
Catherine of France he brought her to England to be crowned in 
142 1, and before entering the City she was lodged for the night at 
Eltham, and on the following day she was met on Blackheath by 
a numerous company of the citizens in white cloaks with red hoods 
and capes, men of every craft m their diverse garments on horse- 
back, and minstrels with clarions "in honour and comfort of the 
King and Queen and the glorious and royal sight of strangers that 
came with them from over-sea." It was a sadder company that 
assembled once more on the Heath the next year to meet the dead 
King's body, and escort it with all honour to its resting-place in 
Westminster Abbey. 

It was on Blackheath that Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, met 
Margaret of Anjou in 1428, and escorted her to his house in Green- 
wich, and in 1431 King Henry VI was met here as usual by the 

Plate 14.— View on Blackheath, from an Etching by S. Pkoit, 1815. 


Lord Mayor clothed in red velvet and the Sheriffs and Aldermen in 
scarlet cloaks, furred, together with a large company. 

The year 1432 saw a curtailment of the Heath by Humphrey, 
Duke of Gloucester, who received a license from the King to en- 
close 200 acres of land, wood, heather and furze to make a park, 
which exists to-day as Greenwich Park, somewhat enlarged by 
the addition of other portions of the Heath. 

In 1450 Blackheath twice became the rendezvous of those who 
supported Jack Cade in the insurrection of that year, first in June 
and again after the fight at Sevenoaks, when he was joined by 
many adherents from all parts of Kent. There is a considerable 
mystery attaching to the rising, as in some hundreds the men 
seem to have been summoned by the constables as though in 
response to regular authority. Cade himself is styled John 
Mortimer in the "pardon" which was issued to him. He subse- 
quently fled and was killed whilst on the point of being captured 
at Heathfield in Sussex. A quarter of his body was sent to Black- 
heath as a warning to malcontents in the district. Amongst those 
pardoned was Edmund Ryculff, of Lee, the Constable of the 
Hundred of Blackheath, several Greenwich men and others of 
neighbouring parishes, but no Lewisham names occur in the lists 
of pardons. Stow says that on 28th February, 145 1, numbers of 
the Kentish rebels, "naked save their shirts," met Henry VI on 
Blackheath, asked mercy on their knees and were pardoned. 

Blackheath came in for its share in the Wars of the Roses. In 
1452 Henry VI took up his stand on the Heath in order to oppose 
the Duke of York, who had encamped on the Brent at Dartford. 
Nineteen years later, after the Battle of Tewkesbury, Thomas 
Falconberge, known as the Bastard of Falconberge, organized an 
expedition to seize London, and set King Henry free. He ad- 
dressed a letter to the Lord Mayor, urging him to join against the 
usurper, and requesting a reply to be sent to him "at the Blak- 
heth." The Londoners, however, were not to be turned from 
their allegiance to Edward IV, and after an unsuccessful attempt 
on the City, Falconberge retired to Blackheath on the advance of 
that King, and finally submitted at Sandwich. 

In the time of Henry VII the Cornish Rebels, headed by Lord 
Audley, encamped on the Heath, and were attacked on 22nd June, 
1497, by the King, who gained a complete victory. Very many 
were slain, and must have been buried on the spot, and some of 
the hillocks may be of this period. In one of his sermons Bishop 
Latimer refers to this fight, and says he remembers buckling on 
his father's armour "when he went to Blackheath Field." 

The reign of Henry VIII saw many notable meetings on the 
Heath. Perhaps the most imposing was the reception of the 
Pope's legate. Cardinal Campeggio. After staying at Otford he 
came to Lewisham on the 29th July, 15 18, where he dined at 
Rushey Green with Mr. William Hatcliffe, one of the Clerks of the 
Green Cloth. After dinner about one o'clock he proceeded to 


Blackheath, where he was met by the Duke of Norfolk with a 
numerous train of bishops and others of high rank. Here, in a 
tent of cloth of gold, he put on his cardinal's robes, and rode in 
much state into London. 

In 1540 Henry VUI here met Anne of Cleves, for whose 
passage over the Heath a broad way was cut through the furze. 
The Court being so frequently at Greenwich, the Sovereign 
frequently used the Heath for exercise, and, as of old, the situation 
of the ground made it a convenient place for the assembly of 
troops. Edward VI, accompanied by his Court, was often on 
the Heath, and Queen Elizabeth here in 1585 reviewed the City 

During the Civil War there were many musterings of troops 
on Blackheath, and it was here that the army was drawn up to 
receive Charles II at the Restoration. 

John Evelyn in his diary mentions the formation of large 
camps on the Heath in 1673 ^'""^ 1690, and in 1687 he remarks that 
on the i6th March he saw a trial of "those devilish, murdering, 
mischief-doing engines called bombs shot out of the morter-piece 
on Black-heath. The distance that they are cast and the destruc- 
tion they make where they fall is prodigious." On the map of 1695 
the mount in the centre of the Heath is marked as " the mount for 
trying mortars," and if it is not an ancient tumulus, as some sus- 
pect, it may have been thrown up for the purpose which Evelyn 

In the time of Queen Anne the " Palatines," who flocked to 
England, were encamped on the Heath to the number of 7,000, 
where they sickened and died in great numbers. They were for- 
bidden to enter the City, and were finally shipped off to New York, 
Holland and Ireland. 

The days of the Georges saw several reviews on the Heath, 
one of which was the subject of an engraving by Paul Sanby. 

But it is time to turn from these historical reminiscences to the 
Heath itself. It is difficult to-day, with the well-defined roads, 
asphalte paths, gas lamps, etc., to imagine the Heath as it was in 
the times just referred to, and, indeed, as late as the early part of 
the last century. Covered with gorse and bracken, ill-defined roads, 
no lights of any kind at night, and with only a few houses here and 
there on the very borders, it is no wonder that the place obtained 
an unenviable notoriety for its highwaymen, so much so that 
associations were formed by the inhabitants for mutual protection. 

In attempting to form some idea of the appearance of the 
Heath in days gone by, we must first remember that it originally 
extended from Blackheath Hill to Shooters Hill, and from Kidbrook 
to the slopes overlooking Greenwich, a wide unpopulated waste, 
covered wMth furze and bracken. The first curtailment, so far as 
we have evidence, was the enclosure authorised in 1432 of 200 
acres, by Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, to form Greenwich Park. 
Later on, enclosures were made on the eastern side of the Heath, 


which resulted by 1695 in nearly the present boundaries at Van- 
brugh Terrace and St. Germans Place, whilst on the western side, 
at the top of Blackheath Hill, the houses at Dartmouth Row were 
built about 1680, so that roughly the Heath had assumed its 
present shape by the last-named date. The houses were, how- 
ever, almost entirely confined to those in Dartmouth Row, for 
St. Germans Place and Montpelier Row are quite a century later, 
and those in Vanbrugh Terrace and Shooters Hill Road are later 
still, so that in the i8th century there were some four miles of open 
heath and country between Woolwich and Lewisham. The maps 
of Blackheath of 1695 and 1745 show very clearly how few houses 
then existed, and enable us to understand how highway robberies 
were possible with little risk to the "gentlemen of the road." 

The most conspicuous objects on the Heath from the ryth 
century onwards must have been the windmills, of which four 
appeared to have existed at one time or another. Of these the 
oldest was situated at the top of Lewisham Hill, where Holly 
Hedge House (the Territorial Force Headquarters) now stands. 
This mill is shown on the maps of 1695 and 1745, and in the latter 
map another mill is shown a little to the west at the top of Morden 
Hill. This is the mill which is apparently shown in the picture 
entitled, "A view of Blackheath towards Lewisham," engraved by 
J. Couse, who flourished about 1750 (Plate 12). The mills are 
mentioned in the parish registers, entries occuring as follows : — 

Burials — 1716, Sept. 15. Mr. Thomas Baizdon, miller on Blackheath. 

17^^, March 2. Elizabeth, wife of James Marlow, from the Wind- 
mill, Blackheath. 
1734, Aug. I. Elizabeth Saxby, from the Windmill. 
1737, Oct. 30. William Baizdon, miller from Blackheath. 
Baptisms — 1738, Nov. 26. Jane, daughter of John Lamer, from Blackheath 

1741, Xov. 29. John, son of Wm. Hubbert, from Windmill, Black- 

These two seem to have disappeared by the end of the century, 
and others were erected near the centre of the Heath, one where 
Mill House now stands, and another close by on the ground now 
occupied by Talbot Place. Of these two mills several drawings 
were made'. The earliest in date was published by Carrington 
Bowles in 1770. It is entitled, "A view of a Windmill near Black- 
heath by moonlight" (Plate 13), and is one of a series of six views 
of this neighbourhood, each bearing titles in English and French. 
There is a view shewing both mills, etched by S. Prout, r A., dated 
181 5 (Plate 14). Another view, also reproduced here, occurs in 
" Blackheath, a poem," by Noble, published in 1810 (Plate 15). A 
sketch made by Sir John Gilbert shows both the mills (a copy of 
this is in the possession of Mr. H. T. Wood, of Hollington). 

The view by Noble shows very clearly the gorse which then 
covered the Heath, and which is said to have been largely destroyed 
in 1 82 1, when it was set on fire as an illumination in honour of 
Queen Caroline. 


The immense quantity of gravel which has been taken from 
the Heath at various periods has resulted in the surface being con- 
siderably broken, not altogether a disadvantage. Part of the 
gravel so removed is said to have been used as ballast for the 
colliers returning to the Tyne, and it may, we are told, be seen on 
the banks of that river, a reminiscence of the days before the 
advent of the steamboat. That the diggings were sometimes not 
devoid of danger, we are reminded by an entry in the burial register 
of 1741, of "John Davies, killed by a fall into the sandpitt, Black- 

The dangers to which travellers were exposed in crossing the 
Heath have been referred to. These appear to have reached such 
a pitch in 1753, that the inhabitants of the neighbourhood sub- 
scribed to suppress the lawlessness, offering rewards for the 
conviction of highwaymen, footpads, and house-breakers. Not- 
withstanding this the newspapers of the time are evidence that 
matters did not improve, although occasionally the ruffians were 
brought to justice. The following from a newspaper of 21st July, 
1759, may be taken as a sample : — 

"Tuesday morning, 17th, about 10 o'clock, a highwayman, 
well mounted, robbed three gentlemen's coaches on Blackheath, 
in the last of which was Mr. Morris, etc., from whom he took two 
guineas, a purse, and then made off. As soon as he had turned his 
back, Mr. Morris ordered the coachman to take the horses off, one 
of which he mounted, and the coachman the other, and went in 
pursuit. They followed him to Dartford, and found him drinking 
in a booth at the camp, where they apprehended him, and brought 
him to Mr. Birches, the 'Green Man,' on Blackheath. On searching 
him they found a brace of pistols, loaded each with a brace of balls, 
a hat and a piece of stocking sewed to it for a mask, a watch, eleven 
guineas, some silver, a pair of silver buckles, and two Spanish 
pieces. He says his name is Sam Walker, alias Jack of the Green, 
and that he belonged to the 'Blenheim,' man-of-war. He was 
known to have been a post-boy on the Kentish Road. On Tuesda)' 
night he was secured in the cage at Greenwich, and next day com- 
mitted to Maidston goal." 

A further association was mooted in 1792, at a meeting of the 
inhabitants. Relatives of the late Dr. Bramley, going to Paris in 
1816, drove across the Heath with pistol pointed on the driver, 
whom they suspected of wishing to land them in the arms of con- 
federates lurking in the gorse. 

The gradual extension of buildings round the Heath, the 
destruction of the gorse, and the better police arrangements of the 
19th century, slowlj- eliminated the highwayman, and removed the 
last remnant of uncomfortable romance from the neighbourhood. 

The present area of the Heath is 267 acres, and that of Green- 
wich Park 185 acres in addition, the whole of the latter being in 
the Parish of Greenwich. The boundary between the two parishes, 
starting from the Ravensbourne at the Silk Mills, passes up Morden 



Hill to Lewisham Road, down the centre of which it formerly ran 
to the bridge over the Greenwich and Nunhead Railway,* then 
turning eastward, along the backs of the houses in Blackheath 
Hill it comes out into that road nearly opposite Holy Trinity 
Church, and passing up the hill to the Heath keeps just to the 
north of the Shooters Hill Road to the corner of Greenwich Park 
wall. At this point within the Park formerly stood Montague 
House, which was built on land enclosed from the Heath. There 
is a view of it on the title page of Noble's " Blackheath." It was 
pulled down in 1815, and the grounds thrown into those of the 
Ranger's Lodge (Chesterfield House). Crossing Shooters Hill 
Road at this point the boundary-line keeps to the south of that 
road to a point about 170 yards from the eastern boundary of the 
Heath (St. Germans Place), and thence turning southwards, cutting 

Plate 10.— The Seat of the late Sir Gregokv Page .at Blackhe.ath. 

The Paragon in two, it passed through the round pond to the 
Blackheath railway.! The boundary between Lewisham and Lee 
passes just north of the Blackheath line, through the centre of the 
ponds in the grounds of "The Cedars," and thence obliquely in the 
rear of Cressingham Road and St. Stephen's Church to the 
Quaggy. That between Lee and Kidbrook passes down the centre 
of Lee Road, Lee Green and Eltham Road. 

In the centre of what is now Blackheath Park, and close to 
the site of St. Michael's Church in the Liberty of Kidbrook, 
formerly stood the fine mansion of Sir Gregory Page, the grounds 

• By a recent rearrangement the boundary is now Lethbridge Road and 
Drysdale Road. 

+ The modern boundary leaves The Paragon in Kidbrook, and passes 
down Pond Road to the Railway. 


of which took in the entire country from Blackheath to the Eltham 
Road. The estate, anciently known as Wricklemarsh, is entered 
separately in Domesday Book. After passing through several 
hands it was sold to Sir John Morden in 1669, who founded the 
college, which bears his name, on a portion of the estate. The 
mansion house and the main portion of the park he left to Dame 
Susan Morden for her life, and on her death in 1721 it was sold to 
Sir Gregory Page, Bart., of Greenwich. He rebuilt the house in a 
most magnificent style, and at the time it was considered one of 
the finest seats in England. It was built entirely of stone from 
designs by John James, and, notwithstanding its size, is stated to 
have been erected in the space of eleven months. It cost ^^90,000. 
The centre of the building consisted of a basement, state and attic 
storey, with a large Ionic portico on the south front, the ascent to 
which was by semi-circular flights of steps. The wings projected 
two hundred feet from the north front at right angles, and con- 
tained the oflices, stables, etc., communicating with the house by 
colonnades. The picture gallery contained a very choice collection 
of paintings by Reubens, Vandyke, Titian, and other masters. 

Sir Gregory died in 1775, leaving no issue, and the estate 
passed to his great-nephew. Sir Gregory Turner of Ambrosden, 
Bart., who assumed the surname and arms of Page. He sold the 
estate in 1783 to John Cator, Esq., of Stump's Hill, Beckenham, 
for £,'22,500, who resold the house in lots to be taken down. It 
was accordingly dismantled in 1787, and stood in a half-ruined 
condition for many years. The Paragon and Montpelier Row were 
built on the Blackheath frontage of Wricklemarsh Park. There is 
a tradition that the columns of the colonnades in The Paragon and 
the stone of some of tlie houses in Montpelier Row came from the 
old house. 

Pond Road, Morden Road, Blackheath Park, The Manor Way, 
and Part of Weigall Road are on the site of the park, as also the 
houses fronting Lee Road. The pond from which Pond Road takes 
its name, was the piece of ornamental water which stood in the 
centre of the avenue of the north front of Wricklemarsh House; 
another piece, now drained, stood to the south of the mansion. 
The .\venue and Wemyss Road, both in Lewisham Parish, are 
more recent formations. 

On the map of 1695 the boundary of the Heath varies con- 
siderably from that at the present day. At the corner now occupied 
by the "Princess of Wales" Hotel were two cottages marked 
" Sir John Morden's two new tenements," and beyond these no 
houses seem to have been erected on this part of the' Heath, the 
boundary of which appears to have then been where Paragon Place 
and The Avenue now stand. Within this triangle (which must 
have been subsequently enclosed from the Heath) stood a maze. 
The ground at the bottom of the slope, now occupied by the rail- 
way, is shown as Sir John Morden's vineyard and orchard, whilst 
at the point where Tranquil \'ale and Montpelier Vale meet^ 


"Queen Elizabeth's Well" is shown. The irregular triangle 
bounded by the last-named roads and Royal Parade has been 
obviously enclosed from the Heath— probably during the i8th 
century — as also the portion now occupied by Lloyd's Place. The 
"Three Tuns" in Tranquil Vale is mentioned in Lewisham Parish 
Registers in 1737, when Richardson Headley, the innkeeper, was 
buried. Other Blackheath hostelries mentioned in the registers 
of the same year are the "Harrow" and the "Crooked Billet. 
They were then distinct houses, but whether they are both now 
represented by the " Hare and Billet " it is difficult to say. 

The ground now occupied by the pits in front of Royal Parade 
is shown as "Gilbert's Piece" in 1695, ^""^ opposite the "Hare 
and Billet" was a portion called "Beggars' Bush," a cross marking 
the meeting of the roads. The part known as Blackheath Vale is 
an enclosure from the Heath, and was formerly a gravel pit. As 
previously described, the two windmills occupied the site of Mill 
House and Talbot Place. 

Grote's Buildings and Eliot Place date from the i8th century, 
the former being apparently a little earlier than the latter, the 
houses in which appear in the "View of Blackheath by Moonlight," 
published by Carrington Bowles in 1770 (Plate 13). One of the 
houses in Eliot Place is dated 1792, and one in Eliot Vale 1805. 
<jrote's Buildings are pari of the Morden College Estate, and 
occupy ground anciently known as Ancock's Hill. The remainder 
■of this side of the Heath and the southern slope generally, from 
Grote's Buildings to Granville Park and Eliot Hill, is the property 
•of the Earl of St. Germans. 

The Orchard and Aberdeen Terrace enclosures are the property 
■of the Earl of ^Dartmouth. Holly Hedge House was originally an 
•enclosure for a windmill. It was occupied by the Rev. the Hon. 
Henry Legge during his long tenure of the Vicarage of Lewisham 
(1831 to 1879). Since that time it has become the headquarters of 
the 2nd Vol. Bait. Royal West Kent Regiment (now the 20th 
London Battalion). Of the houses in Dartmouth Row we shall 
speak separately. 

Granville Park was formed about 1850, and subsequently Eliot 
Park. Oakcroft Road has been made within the last few years on 
the grounds of the house known as "The Knoll." 

No account of Blackheath would be complete without some 
reference, however brief, to its place in British sports. Golf, foot- 
ball, cricket, all have flourished here. The Royal Blackheath Golf 
Club was the first club formed in the South of England, and is said 
to owe its origin to James I, who brought the game with him from 
Scotland. However this may be, it is certain that the club was a 
fully-organised body in 1766,'since it possesses a silver club bearing 
the inscription, "August 16, 1766, the gift of Mr. Henry Foot to 
the Honourable Company of Goffers at Blackheath." The course 
then appears to have been a five-hole one, altered in 1844 to seven 
holes. Nowadays the game is sadly restricted, owing to the 


■crowded state of the Heath. An interesting portrait of Mr. 
William Innes, Captain in 1776, was painted bj- Lemuel F. 
Abbot, R..\., in 1790. He is attended by a Greenwich pensioner 
as a "caddie." In Rug-by Football Blackheath is entitled to a 
place of high honour, and the encouragement both football and 
cricket received in the latter half of the 19th century from residents 
on and around Blackheath, no doubt largely contributed to the 
popularizing of those games amongst the working classes. The 
more important clubs nowadays play on private grounds, but the 
lover of sport cannot survey Blackheath on a Saturday afternoon 
with any other feeling but that of satisfaction. 

In the survey of the King's Manor of Greenwich in 1695, and 
the map by Samuel Travers, Esq., the Surveyor-General attached 
thereto,* the houses in what is now known as Dartmouth Row, are 
shown as "The New Buildings," and then numbered eleven. No. i 
occupying the ground between Blackheath Hill and Dartmouth 
Hill, Nos. 2 to^S from Dartmouth Hill to Morden Hill. No. 9 the 
site of Dartmouth House (now the Greyladies) and the chapel 
adjoining, No. 10 the site of Perceval House, and No. 11, which 
was the Market House, at the corner of Dartmouth Place, the 
space between Dartmouth Place and Blackheath Hill and the 
Heath being occupied by the Bowling Green House, now the 
•" Green Man." 

These eleven houses were declared " encroachments " on the 
Heath, and to have been erected on pretence of a right to do so 
by grants or leases from .Mrs. Graham or Lord Dartmouth. Lord 
Dartmouth disputed the claim that these houses were in the Manor 
of Greenwich, and it is evidence of how uncertainly the boundaries 
between Lewisham and Greenwich were defined at the time, that 
the Crown did not proceed in the matter, and Dartmouth Row and 
the greater part of Blackheath Hill were ultimately agreed to as 
belonging to Lewisham. 

The houses on the western side of Dartmouth Row have been 
considerably altered, both externally and internally, but some of 
them still retain details which place their date at about 1670 or 1680. 

On the eastern side of the Row, and at its northern end is the 
"Green Man" Hotel, formerly the Bowling Green House — the 
g-round appears to have been first enclosed in 1629. Evelyn, in his 
diary, under date 9th May, 1683, says : " I went to Blackheath to 
see the new faire, being the first procured by the Lord Dartmouth. 
This was the first day, pretended for the sale of cattle, but I think 
in truth to enrich the new tavern at the bowling green, erected by 
Snape, His Majesty's farrier, a man full of projects. There 
appeared nothing but an innumerable assembly ot drinking people 
from London, pedlars, etc., and I suppose it is too neere London 
to be of any great use to the countrv." Evelyn was right, and 
after a trial of some 90 years the fair was practically discontinued. 

* Printed in Kimball's " Charities of Greenwich." 


The " Bowling' Green" was at one time a place of resort for 
persons coming' to the Heath, and the Leathersellers' Company 
used to dine there when they came to the annual Visitation at the 
Grammar School. The name became changed to the "Green Man" 
towards the end of the i8th century. The house was rebuilt in 
1869, when the old green was also built on. Lansdowne Place, at 
the back of the hotel, and facing the Heath, is built on a further 
enclosure from the Common. Two of the houses appear to be of 
a date about the middle of the 18th century, the others were built 
about 1855. 

The Market House, which stood at the corner of Dartmouth 
Place, is shown in the map of 1695, but when it was pulled down 
is not recorded. 

The best house in the Row is that known as Perceval House, 
so named after the Right Hon. Spencer Perceval, who was 
assassinated on nth May, 1812, in the lobby of the House of 
Commons, and who at the time was living here. In 1695 it was 
occupied by Sir Martin Beckenham. It has now been divided into 
two houses called " Perceval" and " Spencer" respectively. 

The Church of the Ascension was founded by Mrs. Susannah 
Graham, at some date just prior to 1695, as it is shown on the plan 
of that year. The original building appears to have been the 
apsidal chancel and a portion of the present nave. The nave was 
extended to the road by the Fourth Earl of Dartmouth, about 1834. 
During the rebuilding of Lewisham Church, from 1774-7, '^ was 
constituted the Parish Church. A separate ecclesiastical district 
was assigned to it in 1883. 

Dartmouth House, the last building in the Row, is a plain 
brick structure of the late Adams period. It was sold a short time 
since by the Earl of Dartmouth to the College of Grey Ladies. 

Passing along Dartmouth Row southwards, and leaving Trail's 
Lane or Morden Hill on the right, we come to the southern slopes 
of Blackheath, at the top of Lewisham Hill. Of the condition of 
the gravel pits in 1823, we have a view by T. M. Baynes, reproduced 
in Plate 19, which will be readily recognised. The building of 
Aberdeen Terrace has nowadays shut out the view of Lee Church, 
and the line of trees along Eliot Hill, down which a horseman is to 
be seen riding in the view, was subsequently broken by the erection 
of "The Knoll." In the gravel pits was formerly a pump, which has, 
however, long disappeared. On the brow of the hill a small space 
was for some years railed off for a flagstaff and two cannon, the 
property of the local volunteers, but these have also been removed. 

The house immediately at the top of Lewisham Hill, on the left, 
known as "The Hermitage," was rebuilt in the '70's. The view from 
this spot in 1823, is shown in another drawing by T. M. Baynes 
(Plate 20). The old wooden houses on the right were pulled down 
in the '70's, and the present brick villas erected in their place. 
Princes Road and Blackheath Rise dating from about the same 


The whole of the left hand side of the hill was, prior to 1652, 
part of Blackheath, and was granted by the Court Leet and the 
Lord of the Manor (Raynold Graham) to the Rev. Abraham Colfe, 
as a site for his projected Grammar School. It is described by 
Colfe as of about two acres in area, " full of great pits and holes," 
and he was authorised to enclose this, provided he left a way one 
rod broad into " Coneyberry Field." This way and the field are 
now called Walerand Road. 

A Grammar School had been founded in 1574 by the Rev. John 
Glynn, Vicar of Lewisham, whose executors obtained a charter of 
incorporation from Queen Elizabeth. When Mr. Colfe became 
Vicar in 1610, this school had languished for want of fimds, and he 
was instrumental in the appointment of a fresh body of Governors, 
of which he was one. Later on he found it necessar}' to 
remodel the scheme and endow the school himself, and appointed 
the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers as perpetual Governors, 
for which purpose they were specially incorporated by Act of 
Parliament in 1664. Mr. Colfe erected the buildings himself, and 
the new school was opened on loth June, 1652. Like all old 
Foundation Grammar Schools certain free places were reserved for 
deserving boys of the poorer classes. These are now allotted as 
scholarships. The school was to be conducted on the same lines 
as " Merchant Taylors, Pauls, and the free school of Eaton." In 
or about 1750, when the Rev. Edward Norton, an old Westminster 
boy, was headmaster, the school was enlarged by the addition of 
a wooden building on the north side for an additional number of 
boarders. This is shown in the view published in 1831 (Plate 22). 
In a room over the big schoolroom was for many years 
accommodated the Founder's Library, which was, with additions, 
maintained as a Free Library for the Hundred of Blackheath. 
Owing to settlements in the walls, this upper room was removed 
in 1807, and a wooden tower at the eastern end of the schoolroom 
erected, in the lower part of which the library was housed. The 
books are now almost entirely out of date, and are not of general 
interest, although some are good specimens of early typography. 
One contains Archbishop Cranmer's signature. 

In 1890 the whole of the old buildings of the School were 
demolished, as the result of a new scheme, dated 15th September, 
1887, and new buildings were erected at the cost of the 
Leathersellers' Company. These were added to in 1897 as a 
Jubilee gift, the total cost being about _;^i 2,000. 

In the i8th century the school is spoken of as "a considerable 
boarding school." This element disappeared in 1880, and it is now 
a Day School only. 

The ground above and below the school, formerly the 
headmaster's garden, was let on lease for building in 1861. In 
the upper portion, between Eliot Park and Walerand Road, was a 
spring, which supplied the house with water before the days of 
Water Companies and Boards. 

Plate 21. — Colfe's Grammar School, Garden Front, 1887. 

Plate 22.— Colfe's Grammar School, 1831. 



Dartmouth Terrace, on the opposite side of the hill, was built 
about the year 1820. 

Facing the foot of Lewisham Hill is Heath Terrace, built in 
1854. On the site of the shops adjoining Heath Terrace was 
formerly an old wooden house called "The Manor House," the 
residence of Mr. Bennett, a friend of Charles Dickens, who, of 
course, is said to have written at least one of his books whilst on a 
visit here. It was the property of the Lord of the Manor. 

The advent of the North Kent Railway in 1849 made great 
changes in the immediate surroundings. Granville Park was laid 
out for building about 1850, and the old " Plough" Inn was pulled 
down and rebuilt. Views of the old house from paintings are given 

Plate 23. — The "Ploigh" Inn, aboit 1820. 

in Plates 22, and 24. A small low bridge here spanned the Quaggy 
for carts, a wooden plank bridge sufficing for foot passengers 
This part is marked the " Water splash," in Rocque's map of 1745, 
but the name does not occur elsewhere. The Quaggy joins the 
Ravensbourne at the rear of the " Plough " garden, and runs towards 
the Silk Mill. This mill, as we have seen, was previously known 
as Armoury Mill, and in mediaeval times as Toddlesmill, being 
mentioned in the Court Rolls of the reign of Edward I. The mill 
pond has been filled in, and the site is now laid out as tennis courts. 
The greater part of the land in Lewisham Road, from 
Lewisham Hill to Morden Hill, is the property of the Lord of the 
Manor, and was formerly Lammas, or half-year land, stretching 


from Blackheath down the slopes to the Ravensbourne at the Mill. 
The houses are of various dates in the latter half of the 19th century. 
Further on, at Lethbridge Road, we reach the site of the Lime 
Kilns in Loats Pit. Here a vast quantity of chalk has been cut 
away, making a steep cliff at the rear of Dartmouth Row, on 
Blackheath. It is said ihat a large amount of the lime required for 
rebuilding London after the great fire, was obtained from this spot. 
A view, engraved by J. Course, about 1750, is given in Plate 12. 

The ground between the "Plough" and Lewisham Bridge was 
an open green with trees thereon, called Plough Green, and a species 
of fair was held there on St. Thomas's Day, 21st December. It 

Plate 21.— The "Ploigh" Inn, aboit 1840. 

was enclosed in 1810, and built on, from the "Plough" to the 
"Duke of Cambridge," which later stood back from the road, the 
present house being built on the fore court of its predecessor. 

The "Roebuck," on the opposite side of the road, which 
formerly stood some yards nearer London than its modern 
representative, was a picturesque wooden house, of which sketches 
are given in Plates 25 and 26. It is an old-established house, 
although the earliest mention in the Parish Registers is in 1740 
when " Wm. Hart from Mr, Edmonds at the Roebuck was buried 
by y« Yew Tree." 

The old house occupied the site of Nos. 40 and 42 High Street, 
Nos. 34 to 38 being built on the site of the garden or bowling 



jCreen. In the garden was a famous chestnut tree, shown in the 
drawing in Plate 26. This is said, according to local tradition, to 
have been planted in 1683, and to have been the parent tree of 
those in Bushey Park. The stream, which ran through the village, 
passed the " Roebuck," and joined the Ravensbourne at Lewisham 
Bridge, which at this spot yielded many a good fish to the angler. 
Lewisham Bridge is marke 1 in Rocque's map ot 1745 as 
"Stone Bridge," see Plate 7. If this is to be taken literally, it 
would indicate that one of the mediaeval high-backed stone bridges^ 
existed at that date, which is not unlikely. 


lEXXIi '^VC^'SiX^, 2^?ri:31Ii^ 

Plate 2(i.— Thk " Roebick " Inn, aboit 1830. 

In the will of Christian Sprigg, widow, dated 17th August, 1473, 
is a bequest of los. "to the making of the bridge at the north end 
of the town of Lewisham." 

The bridge which occupied this position for the first half of the 
19th century was a red brick bridge, probably of i8th century 
date, narrow and sufficiently high to allow of boats going under it. 
It had three arches, the centre being the largest, and on either side 
were V-shaped refuges. These can be seen in the sketch (Plate 27). 
The foot traffic increased considerably with the removal of 
Lewisham railway station to its present position from that at the 
foot of Granville Park, on the opening of the Mid-Kent Line in 
January, 1857, and a wooden plank addition was made to the 
southern side of the bridge for the accommodation of foot 


passengers. Carts could enter the river on the northern side for 
watering and drive through. The bridge was replaced in 1872-3. 
by the existing iron bridge. 

The appearance of this part of the town was considerably 
changed by the making of the so-called Mid-Kent Railway in 1857, 
and later by the Tonbridge and Sevenoaks portion of the main line 
of the South Eastern in 1865. The former bounds the district 
called Loampit Vale on the east, and the latter passes directly 
through its centre. Passing over Lewisham Bridge, a turning on 
the left, now known as Mill Road, leads up to one of the many 
mills on the Ravensbourne. It is marked as "Corn Mill" on 
Rocque's map of 1745. There is a group of cottages of i8th century 
date on the right-hand side of the road, before the mill is reached, 
formerly known as Botany Bay. The name occurs in the Parish 
Registers from 1791 onwards and is said to have arisen from the 
character of the then inhabitants. 

Retracing our steps to the Bridge, and passing under the 
archway of the Mid-Kent line, there are a few i8th century houses 
on the left-hand side of the road, and others of the early part of the 
igth century in Elmira Street and adjoining roads, and the 
intervening space has been filled in of more recent years. On the 
right-hand side the houses are nearly all of a date from about i860 
onwards, but a few older buildings fringe the highway on either 
side of the road where the main line of the South Eastern Railway 

Sundermead, one of the great fields of the Manor, occupied the 
ground from Loampit Vale to the river at the Silk Mill. The 
railway now runs through it to Lewisham Station and Thurston 
Road, Jerrard and Horton Streets are built on part of it. The 
name in modern times has been corrupted to " Sundry Meadow " 
and "Thundery Mead." The works of Messrs. Elliott Brothers are 
built on a field called Lock Mead, which was partly in Lewisham 
and partly in Greenwich. 

The portion of our route called Loampit Vale is marked on the 
map of 1745 by the more undignified title of Loampit Hole. It was 
then a well-known locality for a rich loam which seems to have 
been worked for a considerable period. 

In the early part of the 19th century, Messrs. John and Henry 
Lee held the ground on either side of Loampit Vale, and the slopes 
of Loampit Hill up to the parish boundary were converted into 
brick fields, until the available material was exhausted. As 
Loampit Hill is approached there is an outcrop of chalk, and on the 
rising ground Mr. Lee built himself a house shown in Plate 28. 
This still stands, and was known for many years as Ellerslie House. 
The brick fields on the right hand side of the road are now- 
occupied by Elswick Road, Sunninghill Road, etc. 

On the left-hand side of Loampit Hill the loam and chalk have 
been cut away to a considerable depth. On a portion of the rising- 
ground Mr. J. E. Lee built another residence, known as Loampit 



Hill House. On this property and the chalk pits several roads 
have recently been built, with the more or less appropriate names 
of Shell Road, Undercliff Road, etc. 

At the top of Loampit Hill, the boundary between Lewisham 
and Deptford is reached. This runs by the side of the Nunhead 
and Greenwich Railway on the right. On the left the boundary 
formerly ran along the lane, called in modern times White Post 
Lane, at the rear of the gardens of the houses in Tyrwhitt Road, 
but by a recent rearrangement the eastern side of Tyrwhitt Road 
now forms the boundary. 

Having reached the parish boundary on the London Road we 
must now retrace our steps to Lewisham Bridge, and start again 

Plate 28.- Mr. Lee's Hoise, Loampit Hill, 1824. 

from "The Obelisk." This, by-the-way, is a misnomer. The site 
was occupied formerly by a lamp post, which was replaced by 
a fountain with lights overhead. This was popularly dubbed "The 
Obelisk," and the name has remained. 

Down to about the year 1840, the ground on the further side 
of the Quaggy from the Plough Bridge to Lee Bridge was farm 
land, corn and pasture, with the well-wooded rising ground of 
" Belmont " and " The Cedars " in the rear. .A. small stream from 
Wrickiemarsh, which occupied the valley in which the Blackheath 
Railway now runs, after feeding the ponds in the grounds of "The 
Cedars " emptied itself into the Quaggy. Two or three small villus 
were built near Lee Bridge, by the turning to Belmont Hill, an^l 



about 1840 the High Pavement (with the shops thereon) vvas 
constructed. In 1865 the new ecclesiastical district of St. Stephen 
was formed, and the church was built by the Rev. S. Russell 
Davies, m.a., from the designs of Sir Gilbert Scott, in the style of 
the opening vears of the 13th century. From an architectural 
point of view "St. Stephen's is undoubtedly the best church in the 
parish. The ground on which it is built was marshy, and this has 
hitherto prevented the completion of the building with a tower, 
which would no doubt add to the appearance of this part of the 
town. The boundary between Lee and Lewisham was formed by 
the small stream alluded to above, and passing behind St. Stephen s 
Church came down the southern side of St. Stephen's Road to the 
Quaggy, which from this point forms the boundary between the 
two parishes as far as Manor Park. 

Turning to the western side of the High Street, at the 
" Roebuck," we have Rennell Street and Molesworth Street, which 
were originally small villa roads, which sprang up soon after the 
opening of Lewisham Railwav Station. 

At the corner of Rennell Street stood the Lewisham Toll-gate 
House. This was set up in 1849, and removed in 1866. 

The small terrace of four shops from the corner of Rennell 
Street date from about the same period as that thoroughfare, but 
those which follow are part of Old Lewisham. They consisted of 
three small wooden houses, long since turned into shops, and three 
brick houses of the i8th century, which have shared the same fate. 
The centre house (now the "Joiners' Arms") isbeing rebuilt as these 
lines are being written.* Three shops, with gables and windows ot 
mid-Victorian Tudor, come next ; they probably occupy the site ot 
older houses whose memorial is vanished. Adjoining the shops 
just mentioned was an older house occupied by the Shoves, father 
and son, for more than half-a-centurv. It was pulled down and 
rebuilt in 1907. The double-fronted villa which is the next building 
southwards, was converted into a large shop, which has m its turn 
been divided into two. . 

We have now reached the block of buildings which covers the 
site of the old "Lion and Lamb" Inn and its stables, whilst 
opposite us, on the site now occupied by the Bank and other 
shops, was Lewisham (or Watch-house) Green, on which stood the 
Cage or Lock-up, and the Village Stocks. 

The " Lion and Lamb " was one of the old Lewisham hostelries, 
nearly all of which have been rebuilt in recent years. It is mentioned 
in the Parish Registers of 1700, and is no doubt even older. At that 
date it was held by the Holmes family, and it is recorded that Mrs. 
Holmes planted a yew tree in the churchyard in memory ot her 
husband. In 1732 there is the baptism of "Thomas a foundling at 
the Lyon and Lamb doore." One wonders which name was 
adopted for him ! The house was a long low building ot the type 

• Others have since been rebuilt at this point. 



often found in country villages, with a porch to the main entrance. 
In the 19th century this latter was removed, and the front 
considerably modernized (and spoilt). It was pulled down in 1899, 
when the present shops (Nos. 90 and 92) were built on the site, and 
the licensed premises 
needlessly renamed 
"The Salisbury," were 
moved a little north- 
wards to their present 

Lewisham (or 
Watch-house) Green 
included the whole 
of the " island " be- 
tween Lewis Grove 
and High Street. It 
was enclosed in 1810. 
The yeomanry are 
said to have encamped 
there in the early part 
of the 19th century, 
during the Napoleon 
scare. The Cage and 
Stocks stood on the 
site now occupied by 
the London and Pro- 
vincial Bank. Repre- 
sentations are given in 

the accompanying sketches. The last occupants were burnt alive. 
It is supposed that they set the straw, given them as bedding, alight 
by smoking, the constable who held the key could not be found, and 

the unfortunate 
men were liter- 
ally roasted to 
death. The last 
occupant of the 
Stocks is said 
to have been 
placed there- 
in f o r abus- 
ing " Squire " 
Thackeray, one 
of the local 
Justices, who 
was dispen- 
sing the law 
at the "Lion 
" " " " """ and Lamb'* 

Plate 3(1.— Thr Stocks, Lewisham, abolt 1840. opposite. 

Plate 29.— The Cage, Lewisham, aboit 1840. 



An Itinerary Through Lee. 

|T will at this point be convenient to turn aside 
from the Lewisham High Street to make a sur- 
vey of the neighbouring Parish of Lee, which, 
with the Parish of Lewisham, makes up the 
Metropolitan Borough. The Parish of Lee is a 

^.^^ ,_ very ancient one, and the manor prior to the 

Conquest was held of King Edward the Confessor by a Saxon 
named Aluuin. It was seized by the Conqueror and with many 
others in this county conferred upon his half-brother Odo Bishop 
of Baieux and Earl of Kent, of whom it was held by Walter de 
Douai at the time of the Domesday enquiry. It was then assessed 
at half a solin^ or at one quarter that of Lewisham. In the time 
of Edward the Confessor the land under cultivation was that 
workable by four plough-teams. In 1085 (the date of the enquiry) 
this had not increased, as we are told that in the demesne 
there were two plough-teams, whilst eleven villans and two 
cottars between them had two also. There were two families of 
slaves on the demesne. There were also five acres of meadow, 
and for the use of the wood lands the tenants gave ten hogs 
yearly i e., the wood land was a fifth of that in Lewisham. Ihe 
yearly value of the manor used to be £z, but in 1085 it was 
IOCS. From this statement, then, we gather that, beside the 
family of Walter de Douai, there were fifteen households within 
the manor or a population say of seventy souls. 

The manor passed to Robert de Baunton, son of William 
de Douai, who endeavoured, as we have seen, to enlarge his 
possessions by seizing Lewisham and Greenwich from the Abbot 
of Ghent His only daughter married William de Paynell, whose 
grandson, William Pavnell, sold the manor in 1225 to Richard de 
Montefichet, bv whom it was given as a marriage dower to his 
sister Philippa" Montefichet, the wife of Hugh de Plaiz Richard 
de Montefichet was one of the barons selected to enforce King 
John's observance of Magna Charta. 

About this time a family named Banquel had become land- 
owners in the district, possessing the subsidiary Manor ot bhrat- 
holt (or Shroffolds)in Lewisham— the border country so to speak 
between the parishes of Lee, Lewisham, and Bromley. The name 
is variously spelt Bonquer, Banquel, Bankwell, and was finally 
shortened down to Bankers. Sometime during the reign ot 
Edward III the Banquels became possessed also of the Manor 
of Lee, so that when Thomas Banquel died in 136 1 his possessions 
in Lee and the surrounding neighbourhood were considerable. 
From the Banquels, Lee and Shrafholt passed to Sir Richard 



Stury in the reig^n of Richard II. He was a person of considerable 
influence in Edward Ill's reign, and shared with Alice Ferrers the 
control of the king- in his old age. In the next reign he took a 
leading part in the politics of the day, and was an active supporter 
of the Lollards. His grandson alienated the manor to Richard 
Wydeville in 1445. Wydeville was created Baron Rivers in 1447, 
and Edward IV, who had married his daughter Elizabeth, 
advanced him to the dignity of Earl, making him Constable of 
England in 1465. 

Earl Rivers was seized by a body of Lancastrians at North- 
ampton in 1469, and beheaded by order of the Duke of Clarence 
and the Earl of VVarwick. His son Anthony was beheaded at 
Pontefract in 1483, by order of the Duke of Gloucester, on a 
charge of suspected treason, when the title and estates came to 

Plate 31.— Lp;e BRn>i;K Hmst;. 

Richard his brother, and he, dying in 1491 without issue, 
appointed his nephew, Lord Thomas Grey, Marquis of Dorset, 
his heir. 

His life being threatened by Richard III, the marquis fled to 
Brittany, and joined Henry Earl of Richmond on the accession of 
the latter to the throne. After the Battle of Bosworth he resumed 
possession of Lee and his other property. His son exchanged the 
Manor of Lee, with Bankers and Shrofi'old, with Henry VIII in 
1512 for other lands in Leicestershire. 

The manor remained with the Crown until the year 1631, 
when Charles I granted it to Ralph Freeman, of Aspeden in Hert- 
fordshire, Lord Mayor of London in 1633, and he, by will, left 


the manor to . his grandson, Freeman Sondes, of Lees Court, 
Sheldwich, Kent, who, djing young, the property came to his 
father. Sir George Sondes, Kt., who was created Earl of F'aver- 
sham. He left two daughters, and the manor eventually came, in 
1709, to Catherine the younger, who married Lewis Watson, Earl 
of Rockingham. 

The manor remained in the possession of this family until 
1798, when Lewis Thomas, second Baron Sondes, sold Lee, 
ShrofFold and Bankers to Sir PVancis Baring, Bart., from whom 
they have descended to the present Earl of Northbrook. 

The manor Pound formerly stood on the eastern side of Burnt 
Ash Road, near Lee Green. At the Court Leet a bailiff, ale- 
conner, and hogwarden were chosen. The meetings seem to 
have been regularly held until about 1809. In 1841 the jurors 
were again summoned, but since then the Court has lapsed. 
The quit-rents, which represent the money payments in lieu of 
personal service of the free tenants amounted to about ;^40 
a year. 

With this preliminary sketch of the lords of the Manor of Lee, 
we will cross Lee Bridge and proceed by way of Belmont Hill. 
Lee Bridge, built in 1792, has been replaced in recent years by an 
iron girder bridge. The whole of the roadway here has been 
considerably raised to keep it above the level of the Quaggy, 
which in times past was wont to overflow its banks and flood the 
surrounding country. 

Belmont Hill is called Lewisham Lane on Rocque's map of 
1745. ^" *^'i^ return of church property made in 1634 to the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury it is styled Lee Lane or Butt Lane. The 
land on the right-hand side of the hill and at the lower end of 
the left-hand side, as far as Belmont Road, is the property of the 
Earl of St. Germans, but from Belmont Road to Boyne Road there 
is an estate which is part of the endowment of Morden College. 
On this site was one of those mounts dear to the folk of the early 
part of the 19th century, from which in those days a very pictur- 
esque view could be obtained. In 1830, a house was built on the 
spot by Mr. George L. Taylor, Surveyor of the Dockyards, and 
called "Belmont," which thereupon gave its name to the road. 
The house was afterwards occupied by Mr. John Wainewright, 
and pulled down in 1907, when Boyne Road and Caterham Road 
were made and the estate built over. The road was formerly a 
narrow and somewhat steep country lane, the only houses being 
" Lee Grove" ("The Cedars''^ and the Rectory, with the church. 
The crown of the" hill was cut down in 1830, and the road 
straightened to the lodge gates of "The Cedars"; subsequently 
it was diverted so as to skirt the gardens of that house. 

"The Cedars," formerly known as "Lee Grove," was originally 
a small house, where dwelt one Will Prat, who was a well-known 
London character and sheriff" in 1734, and he died here in 1746. 
In 1733 it belonged to Mr. John Lucas, and in 1766 to Mr. Thomas 



Edlyne. Subsequently it belonged to Miss Boyfield, who planted 
the cedar trees. She sold it in 1790 to Mr. Samuel Brandram, 
who greatly improved the property, forming the lakes out of the 
little stream from Wricklemarsh, and adding to the house, a view 
of which in 1838 is given in Plate 32. His son, Mr. Thomas 
Brandram, had designed to let the whole estate of fiftj'-one acres 
for building, and made a beginning with the houses in Belmont 
Grove. He died in 1855, and the property was purchased by 
Mr. John Penn, who re-named the estate "The Cedars," and 
during his lifetime spent a considerable sum in remodelling 
the house and adding to the beauty of the grounds. After his 
death in 1878 and to the present day his widow has continued to 

PLiftE 32.--" Lee Grove" ("The Cedars"), 1838. 

reside there. His son, the late Mr. John Penn, was the second 
member of Parliament for the newly-constituted Borough of 

Near the upper lodge gate formerly stood the Rectory house, 
which was rebuilt by the rector, the Rev. Abraham Sherman, in 
1636. and was pulled down in 1866, when the grounds were 
purchased by Mr. Penn to enlarge those of "The Cedars," a new 
rectory being built at a short distance along the road on glebe 
land. A view of the old house is given in Plate ■^'},. 

We have now arrived at the parish church of St. Margaret, 



Lee, which formerly stood on the left or northern side of the road 
in the old graveyard. Of the original church little or no descrip- 
tion is irecessary, as we fortunately possess drawings of it, two 
of which are reproduced in Plates 34 and 35. It will be seen that it 
was very small, being only 56ft. in length. Within the church were 
brasses to Nicholas Ansleye, Sergeant of the Cellar to Queen 
Elizabeth, died 1593; to Elizabeth Covhyll, 1513; Henry Byrde, 
1545; and Isabell Hatteclyf, wife of Nicholas Ansleye, 1582. 
These are preserved in the present church. A tablet to Bryan 
Annesley and his family, 1604, is preserved on the base of the old 

This church was taken down in 18 13, and another erected 
in "Strawberry hill Gothic" with aisles, to meet the increase in 

Plate 84.— The Old Chirch, Lee, from a Water-Coloi r Drawing, 
A BOLT iSoo. 

the population, but this again proving insufficient a new church 
was built on the opposite side of the road in 1839, and consecrated 
on iith March, 1841. This was subsequently enlarged in 1876, 
and a considerable sum has been spent at various times in beauti- 
fying the Tnt^rior. 

Proceeding along Lee Terrace we pass several villas, some of 
which were built in and about 1825, and others of somewhat later 
date. At the end of Lee Terrace on the north side, and at the 
turning down into Blackheath \'illage, are the buildings of the 
Blackheath Proprietary School. This school was started in 
January, 1830, by residents at Blackheath, to provide, as a day 



school, the same type of education commonly associated with the 
term "public school." For a time the school was very successful, 
especially during the principalship of the Rev. E. J. Selwyn, M.A., 
when the numbers reached 274, and several boarding-houses were 
started in connection with it. In the days of his successor, the 
Rev. J. Kempthorne, m.a., the numbers reached 284, but after- 
wards declined, until in 1907 the committee decided to close the 
school after 77 years working. During its existence the school 
turned out many first-rate men, and its list of scholars is one of 
which any institution might be proud. The honours' boards are 
preserved in the corridor of the Blackheath Concert Hall. 

At the end of Lee Terrace we are on Cresswell Hill, and, 
turning southward, we have in front of us Lee Road — down which 

Platk 35 —The Old Ciiirch, Lee, from an Engravinc, 1S09. 

runs the boundary between Lee, Charlton and Kidbrook — and Lee 
Park. Northwards, at the foot of the hill, is Blackheath Railway 
Station, opened in July, 1849. Close to the station is the School 
for the Sons of Missionaries, opened in 1857, and the Blackheath 
Congregational Church, built in 1853. 

What is now known as Lee Park is shown on Rocque's map 
of 1745 as "Lee Green," and Lee Road is styled "Lee Green 
Lane." It was formerly leased to the owner of Dacre House 
(which stood in Brandram Road) as a park, but on the death of 
Lady Dacre in 1808 it was cut up for building purposes, houses 


being built first at the north-east corner towards Blackheath 
Village and afterwards along Lee Road. The avenue diagonally 
through the property was converted into the road named Lee 
Park, houses being built on either side. 

Lee Road was a very rural spot in the early part of the 19th 
century, with much broom and furze, which also abounded in Lee 
Park. At the south end of Lee Road we arrive at Lee Green 
(so-called nowadays). The Green was formerly about two acres 
in extent, with a few cottages and the "Tiger's Head" Inn, which 
was originally built about 1766. A windmill also existed on the 
eastern side. The whole of this part of the parish was much 
subject to inundations from the sudden rising of the Quaggy, and 
at Christmas, 1S30, the water is recorded as having been 7ft. deep 
at Lee Green. The Green was a favourite resort for meetings not 
always conducted in the quietest manner. It was gradually built 
over. Wall's Place, Eastbourne and Gordon Terraces being built 
on part of it. Races were formerly held in Lee Park until the 
b-uilding operations began, when they were held in the Harrow 
meadows (so named from a public-house called the " Harrow," 
which formerly stood there). 

A short distance along the Eltham Road stood the farm build- 
ings of Lee Green Farm, and near the boundary with Eltham the 
Lee Toll Gate, which was abolished in 1866. The boundary 
between Lee and Eltham passes across the Eltham Road and 
through Home Park southwards, Burnt Ash Road running cent- 
rally through this part of the parish. The origin of this name is 
obscure. In early documents it is called Brindishe. It may be 
derived from the making of charcoal from the wood which 
formerly covered the southern part of the parish. 

Half-way up Burnt Ash Hill we come to the turning to 
Bromley, now known as Baring Road. This leads to Grove Park, 
so named from Grove Farm then existing. Burnt Ash Hill itself 
continues into Burnt Ash Lane, formerly known as Marvell's 
Lane, so called from its leading to "The Marvells," a farm and 
piece of woodland at the Bromley end of the parish. The 
boundary of the parish on the west is formed for some distance 
by a small stream which runs by the side of Shroffield's Manor in 
Lewisham. This stream runs at the rear of the Lee Cemetery and 
along the side of Hither Green Lane, and, passing under the 
S.E. Railway, joins the Quaggy in Manor Park. 

Returning to Lee Green on our way back to Lewisham we 
come to the bridge over the Quaggy, which was enlarged about 
1825 to allow the water to flow more freely with a view to obviate 
the overflowing of the river. Camden Place was built at the same 
time, the first of the modern smaller houses. Boone's Almshouses, 
a little further towards London, were built in 1875 on the removal 
of the original buildings, to which we shall refer presently. Lamp- 
mead Road commemorates a field formerly given to Lee Church to 
maintain a lamp in the church before the altar. Confiscated at the 




Reformation, it was granted to Mr. William Hatclifife, who again 
left it to the Parish Church. Of the building on Lee Park we 
have already spoken. 

That portion of the High Road between the two ends of the 
Old Road was cut through the grounds of "Lee Place" in 1826. This 
may be regarded as the centre of the parish, and it was. in that 
part of the High Road, now called the Old Road, that the larger 
houses were formerly grouped. 

"Lee Place" stood on the north side of the Old Road, between 
that thoroughfare and where the High Road now runs. The latter 
is on the site of the gardens and of a piece of ornamental water 
therein, probably part of an ancient moat. The house, which was 
a red brick mansion of late Tudor date, belonged, in the i/tb 

Plate 3(1— Boonks Old Al>lshol"ses, High Road, Lee. 

century, to Mr. Christopher Boone, the founder of the almshouses, 
and it remained in the possession of that family until the death of 
Mr. Charles Boone in 1819, when it passed to his only daughter. 
Lady Drummond. It was tenanted for some years by Mr. 
Benjamin Aislabie, who took an active part in parochial life, and 
after whom Aislabie Road is named. It was sold in 1824, when it 
was pulled down, the new High Road made, and Church Street, 
Dacre Street, etc., built on the grounds. 

On the south side of the Old Road, at its eastern end, was Lee 



House, which stood on the site of the mansion of Sir Thomas 
Fludyer. It was built in 1830 by Sir Francis B. Morland, and was 
pulled down about 1886, when the estate of some eight acres was 
built over. 

Between this house and the Manor House was another house, 
of which Mr. Bonar was a tenant until his removal to Camden 
House, Chislehurst, where lie and his wife were murdered by a 
valet in 1813. 

The Manor House was built by Mr. Thomas Lucas about 
1780, and has been at times occupied by the Lords of the Manor. 
Amongst the better known tenants of recent times was Mr. 
Wolffram, the army coach. In 1902 the house and grounds were 
sold by Lord Northbrook to the London County Council for use as 
a free library, etc., and public park. 

Plate 37. — The Seat of the late Lord Dacre, Lke. 

Pentland House, which adjoins Manor House, is an. old red 
brick house of the latter part of the 17th century, but the face has 
been stuccoed. 

Manor Lodge, which stood at right angles to Pentland House, 
was the old Manor Farmhouse, and in the rear is Manor Lane, 
which formerly led to the farm. On the western side of the Old 
Road was formerly a large house called " The Firs '" (previously Lee 
Lodge). This was the seat of the Papillon family, the Sladen 
family, and, lastly, of Mr. John Wingfield Larking. Shortly after 
his death in 1891, the house was pulled down, and the whole estate 
was built over (.^bernethy, Rembrandt, Lochaber and Murillo 


In the High Road, opposite the entrance to the Old Road, 
were the almshouses built and endowed by Mr. Christopher Boone 
in 1683 (Plate 36). The houses were pulled down in 1877, ^^^ the 
old chapel, said to have been designed by Sir Christopher Wren, 
has been permitted to remain. The Merchant Taylors' Company, 
who are the trustees, purchased the ground in the rear, and erected 
a further set of almshouses in 1826. 

Brandram Road was formerly a country avenue by the side of 
the Boone estate, leading up towards Dacre House, which stood 
on the right-hand side at the top of the ascent. This house was 
occupied by Sir John Lade in 1745, and was afterwards the seat 
of Sir Samuel Fludyer, who died here in 1768. His niece, Mary, 
married Charles Trevor Roper, i8th Baron Dacre. She died in 
1808. After being leased to various tenants, the grounds were 
eventually built over. A view of the house is given in Plate 37. 
In its later days it was, like so many others, stuccoed over and 
spoilt. The view from the house in its prime is said to have been 
one of much beauty. 

Manor Park, with Northbrook Road, perpetuate the name of 
the old Manor Farm, together with that of the owner (the Earl of 

Weardale Road is an enlargement of a pleasant field-path by 
the side of the Quaggy, which, crossing over the river by a foot 
bridge, entered another field-path in Lewisham Parish, known as 
Hokum Pokum, which led towards Lewisham Church. Its route 
can still be traced via Dermody Gardens and Ryecroft Road. .At 
the corner of the road stood a small house, known as " Rose 
Cottage," on the site of which the "Rose of Lee" is built, the 
adjoining shops being built on the garden. The greater part of 
the roads on the opposite side of the road — Belmont Park (at 
first named Middleton Road) and Blessington Road — are on the 
property of the Merchant Taylors' Company, and were formed in 
the late "fifties" and early "sixties." Holy Trinity Church was 
opened in 1863. 

At the corner of Eastdown Park is the Lee Baptist Chapel, 
which was built in 1854. Adjoining are a few small houses of late 
1 8th century date, followed by the detached villas, known formerly 
as Lee Place, which were built about 181 2. They were the first 
of their kind to be erected in the parish, and were built by Messrs. 
John and Henry Lee, of Loampit Hill. Between these houses and 
Lee Bridge there were, at the end of the i8th century, a few villas 
standing in their own gardens, with the brook and the fields of the 
College Farm in the rear. Early in the 19th century small houses 
(.■\lbion Place), subsequently turned into shops, were built on the 
gardens. Some of these were in their turn rebuilt, and a large 
number were removed in 1906-7, when the electric tramways were 
laid down. 



From the Clock Tower to The Vicarage. 

E have now returned to Lee Bridge, and will 
continue our survey of Lewisham High Street. 
The Clock Tower, which stands at the parting- 

Sl^_.^™\\ir«^i ot the ways, was erected as a memorial of the 
i^^^lLWH^'Q Jubilee of Queen Victoria, 1897. The cost was 
^^^^^^^y met partly bv subscription and partly from a fund 

left by Mr. Michael Whitehall, an old inhabitant. It is in a species 
of English Renaissance, but the expense caused the omission of a 
series of panels bearing coats of arms, and this detracts much from 
its appearance. 


-^Ir. Allen's Hoise, High Street, Lewisham (now No. 108). 

Next to the old "Lion and Lamb" came the stables of the 
house which still exists as two shops (Nos. 102 and 104), and can 
be readily distinguished from its red brick neighbours. It was a 
comfortable residence of the latter part of George Ill's time, with 
high iron railings in front and a row of white flags leading up to 
the entrance door. Here lived for many years Mr. Steele, a 
Quaker, and subsequently a Mr. Cresswell. Opposite this house, 
in what is now the roadway, were two fine elm trees, which, like 


SO many of the trees which were the glory of Lewisham, have 
been needlessly removed. 

The shops from the turnings to the Lewisham Postmen's Office 
to John's Place (Nos. io8 to 120) occupy the site of an ancient 
house, with its gardens, of which a representation from a faded 
photograph is given in Plate 38. The house itself occupied the 
position now taken by Nos. 108 and iio, and appears to have 
been of Elizabethan date, or even older. It was occupied for 
many years by Mr. Septimus Allen. A modern Gothic villa, 
known as Brooke House, was built about 1840 on the site of 
Nos. 112 and 114, the old house was pulled down and a villa (now 
No. 108) erected in its stead, whilst a similar villa (now 120) was^ 
built on a portion o^ the garden. Brooke House in its turn was- 

Platk :^). — Skktch of Mr. W'.m. Alle.v's Holsk, on Site of Avenie, 

also demolished, and the intervening space between No. 108 and 
No. 120 filled in with the present red brick shops. In front was a 
pleasant grove of plane trees, which are, alas, no more. The 
stream which ran through the town in days gone by has left a 
good memorial of itself in this part of the High Street in the wide 
pieces of green which with a little more care might be made one 
of the chief attractions of the borough. 

From John's Place to Fuller's Place we have the site of a long 
low white house and its gardens, tenanted by Mr. William Allen, 
father of Mr. Septimus .Allen alluded to above, a lawyer of Lincoln's 
Inn Fields. The house itself stood where Avenue Road now runs, 
and the green in front, now partly a costermongers' market, was 
known as .Mien's Green, and a favourite place for "rounders" by 



the village j'outh of the time. Avenue Road takes its name from 
a long avenue of poplar trees which extended towards Fuller's 
Place. The house was pulled down about 1835, when Avenue 
Road was formed, the shops from John's Place to Avenue Road 
were, built and named Frederick's Place, and also Lewisham 
Terrace, between Avenue Road and Fuller's Place. All these 
changes marked the increase of population caused by the move of 
Londoners towards the suburbs. 

On the other side of the road, occupying the site of Clarendon 
Road, Albion Road, Bonfield Road and Gilmore Road was College 
Farm, part of the endowment of the College of The Holy Trinity 
at Greenwich, founded in 1613 by the Earl of Northampton. The 

Plate 40. — College Farm Hoisk, i860. 

farm house (Plate 40) stood on the ground now occupied by 
Nos. 131 to 135, at the corner of Albion Road. 

In Clarendon Road is St. Mark's Church, built in 1870. 
Lower down the road is the Baptist Church, built in 1873. ^" 
Albion Road is the Wesleyan Church, built in 1867. The first 
Wesleyan centre was formed in 1822, in a room near Lewisham 
Bridge. In 1838 a small chapel was built in Avenue Road, which 
was enlarged in 1863, and is now occupied by the Salvation 

At the top of College Park is Holly Hedge Terrace, which is 



named after a famous holly hedge which it replaces. Eastward of 
this is the ground belonging to Lord Dartmouth, formerly called 
Quaggs, and now covered by Dermody Road (named after the 
poet) and part of Pascoe and Ennersdale Roads to the river. 
Eastdown Park perpetuates the ancient name of the slope on which 
it, with Wisteria Road, is built, a name at least as old as the 
14th century. 

Adjoining College Farm, in the High Street, were two old 
houses of the i8th century, now Nos. 137 to 141, marked in plans 
of 1793 Tis " Mr. Evan's Estate." Their position, occupying but 
little space, hemmed in between the College property and that of 
"The Limes," then the property of Lord Eliot, is curious. Of 

Plate 41. — The Old "White Hart" Inn, 1S70. 

"The Limes" we shall have more to say, and meanwhile we will 
cross the road and continue the story from Fuller's Place. At the 
corner of this lane for many years stood the village smithy (the 
chestnut tree, it will be remembered, was down by the " Roebuck.") 
•After the smithy, the site was tenanted as a baker's, but has for 
some time now been devoted to secondhand books. The next 
house has always been a butcher's as long as the oldest inhabitant 
can remember. 

The "White Hart," which stood on the site of No. 162, and 
of which a representation is given in Plate 41, was another of the 
old Lewisham wayside inns, although, curiously enough, there is 
no mention of it in tlie Parish Regfislers or other documents. The 



house, it will be seen, appears to have been of the 17th century. 
The present building occupies the site of the old stabling-, in the 
forecourt of which were chestnut trees with seats beneath for the 
beguilement of the traveller. It was built in 1886. 

Nos. 168 and 170 take the place of two weather-boarded 
cottages shown in Plate 42, whilst on the site of Nos. 174-6 were 
two small cottages with windows which were doubtless intended 
to be Gothic, and spoke plainly of the early Victorian period. 
The row of small houses, Nos. 180 to 198, now all turned into 
shops, belong also to the early years of Queen Victoria. The 
modern shops, Nos. 198 to 204, occupy the space of a small 

Plate 42.— Old Hoisf.s nkar thf, "White Hart" (now Nos. 16S to 178). 

whitewashed house of the i8th century. Bath House, now 
No. 208, is apparently another of the early 19th century villas 
which sprang up along the roads leading from London w^hen the 
first movement to the suburbs took place. 

We have now arrived at the IBridge House Mill, and must 
cross the road to the site of "The Limes." 

This spot, sacred to the memory of John Wesley, is now the 
site of the shops numbered 169 and 171. which bear a tablet, 
"'The Limes,' rebuilt 1903" The house had been much altered 
and added to from time to time, but was apparently originally 
built in the 17th century. The house and garden immediately 



surrounding it belonged to Lord Eliot, and were leased by Mr. 
Valentine Sparrow, whose widow died in 1748, Mr. John Wesley 
preaching her funeral sermon. He first visited Lewisham in 1746, 
and in 1747 speaks of " retiring to Mrs. Sparrow's, at Lewisham." 
Mr. Ebenezer Blackwell, of the old banking firm of Martin, of 
the "Grasshopper," in Lombard Street, then took up the lease of 
the house, and also purchased the ground now occupied by Limes 
Grove and the houses in the High Street to Morley Road. This 
part of the property had another house, which stood about a 
hundred yards from "The Limes," with a small open green 
between it and "The Limes' " gates.* Mr. Blackwell spent much 
time in beautifying the grounds, with a summer-house at the top of 
what is now Limes Grove. Mr. Wesley very frequently retired to 


t ^ 




. ^ 


5 1 








1'; ^n Hi 




^^E^'^' tv.-^- 1 


'•I.- - ^^K 


i j~jf\^ 


Plate 4.3. 

' The Limes," 1S35. 

"The Limes," and there wrote many of his sermons and other 
works until Mr. Blackwell's death in 1782. His estate was after- 
wards purchased by Mr. Henry Mills, who also purchased from 
Lord Eliot the freehold of "The Limes," and obtained permission 
from the. Manor Court in 1804 to enclose the small green mentioned 
above. He was succeeded by his nephew, Mr. Edward Legh, who 
in 1858 built the houses known as Limes Terrace, Nos. 143 to 155, 
opened up Limes Grove for building, and also erected (1851-3) the 
houses from Limes Grove to Morley Road. Later, in 1867, the 
houses Nos. 175 to 185 were built on a further portion of the 

• The new Prudential Biiildinics stand on the site of" the house and tfieen. 


garden. In 1894 the whole property was sold by Mr. Legh's 
trustees, when the shops Nos. 161 to 167 were built on the site of 
the stables, and the old house itself disappeared. Sic transit, and 
the story of this house and its grounds is that of nearly every other 
estate, not only in Lewisham but all round London. 

An engraving of the house appeared in the " Youth's In- 
structor" for 1835, and is here reproduced in Plate 43. 

The ground now occupied by Slaithwaite, Morley and Lingards 
Roads is the property of the Earl of Dartmouth as Lord of the 
Manor, and was known as "Forelands," probably the same as 
" Porlange " in a survey of the Manor of Lewisham in 1370, the 
acreage (10 acres) being also identical. 

On the opposite or western side of the High Street on passing 
Bath House we come to part of the Bridge House Estates, 
which comprise the mill lately known as "Riverdale," with the 
land around and the houses in the High Street known as Camden 

The mill is a very ancient one, and there is little doubt it is on 
the site of one of those mentioned in Domesday. In 1299 it is 
spoken of in the Court Rolls as "The Mill of London Bridge," 
but subsequently appears to have been known as " Semanesmill," 
possibly from the name of a miller. In 1420 it is called variously 
" Seemanysmill " and " Brigesmill." In Rocque's map of 1745 
it is called a Leather Mill. The present mill house was built by 
Mr. John Penn, who succeeded Mr. Henry Wood as tenant in 
1828. The whole is now (1908) about to be let for building 

Set back some little distance from the street is the building 
erected in 1823 and known as the Union Chapel. It was the first 
meeting place of the Congregational or Independent Church in 
Lewisham. The site was formerly occupied by a brewery, a 
portion of which was leased in 1798 and fitted up as a chapel, 
which was enlarged in 1813. In 1822 a fresh lease was taken and 
the present building erected. It was opened on 14th October, 
1823, the Rev. Thomas Timpson, author of "Church History of 
Kent," being the first minister. The original chapel was converted 
into a dwelling house and is now No. 218, being the lodge at the 
gates of " Riverdale." The Congregational Church worshipped in 
this building until 1866, when the present church was opened. 
After being used for some time as a school of art a lease of the 
building was taken by the Unitarian Church, who at present meet 
there pending the erection of another building near the Free 

The house next to the chapel (No. 222) is somewhat older, 
and would appear to be of the end of the 18th century. 

The four double-fronted villas known as Camden Place were 
built about 1820. They are being converted into shops. Next to 
them, and occupying the site of Nos. 232 to 236 were two old 
houses, pulled down about 1878. In front of these was a large 


elm tree, which was removed in 1906, when the electric tramways 
were laid. 

The two houses Nos. 240 and 242, formerly known as 
Magnolia House from the fine specimen of that tree which 
partly covered the front walls, are among' the few remaining 
portions of Lewisham of the early part of the i8th century. The 
gateways and lamp stand are not inelegant examples of iron woik 
of the period. 

Camden House, No. 246, is a very good specimen of the 
:suburban house of the i8th century — it may, indeed, date from the 
time of William and Mary. It was tenanted in the 19th century 
by General Mann, Miss Finch, Mr. John Wood, Mr. James Jay, 
Mr. Page and others, and is at present held by Messrs. Antill, 
builders. It was originally only two stories high, the portion 
-above the cornice which runs along the front having been added 
probably in the time of George II. 

Between Camden House and the house now occupied by 
the Conservative Club were three small houses, which were 
removed when the Sevenoaks and Tonbridge Railway was made in 
1865. One of these was tenanted by a greengrocer and fruiterer, 
and as an illustration of the rural character of the place at the 
time we are told that as late as 1840 he kept his ducks in the little 
stream which then ran in front of the house, wire netting being 
placed to prevent them from wandering up and down ! Opposite 
this, on the site of the railway, was a small farm house called 
Yew Tree House. 

The Conservative Club House on the south side of the railway 
bridge was for many years the residence of Dr. John Brown, one 
of the village physicians. It is a good red brick house, probably 
of the early part of the i8th century, but the character of the front 
has been completely obscured by being cemented — there is scarcely 
a house of this date in the place which has escaped this fate. The 
general appearance of this part of the street in or about i860 will 
be seen in Plate 44. 

Nos. 262 to 266 are built on the site of the stables of 
Brooklands House. This last. No. 272, now the Liberal and 
Radical Club House, was built about 1820, and was for many 
years the residence of the Hadley family, to whom there is a large 
monument in the churchyard eastward of the chancel. It was 
tenanted b)' Mr. Henry Wood from 1859 until his death in 1894 in 
his 99th year. The property was subsequently sold by the Hadleys, 
and Rhyme Road and Whitburn Road were built on the gardens 
and meadows. On the eastern side of the High Street was a 
four-gabled house, apparently of Elizabethan date, which occupied 
the site of the Congregational Church, and was pulled down 
in 1847 (Plate 45). 

The surrounding ground was for many years at the opening of 
the 19th century the once famous nursery garden of Messrs. 
Russell and Willmott, afterwards Willmott and Chaundy. Court 



Hill, which is an ancient name in Lewishani, going back to early 
times, and probably at one time the old place of meeting, is 
perpetuated in Court Hill Road, which was formed in 1865. The 
Congregational Church was built in 1866, and the handsome 
Sunday Schools attached in 1880. 

At the corner of Hither Green Lane stood the barns, etc., of 
the four-gabled house above mentioned, and the site is now in 
the market. 

The name Hither Green first appears in the Parish Registers 
in 1716, and in most of the earliest references is spelt Hether or 
Heather Green — which is the most probable origin of the name. 
On the other hand, in the early part of the 19th century the lower 

Pi.ATK 45.— Old Gableh Hoise on the Site of the;rec:.\tional 


portion of Hither Green Lane, near Brownhill Road, was known 
as " Further Green," which would indicate "hither" or "nearer" 
as the origin. Although proof is wanting there seems little doubt 
that the ancient name was Romburgh, which is of frequent 
occurrence in documents of the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, but 
has now quite disappeared. Hither Green for many years con- 
sisted of farm land. There were a few cottages built on a strip 
of roadside waste near and opposite the "Spotted Cow," and a 
few houses standing in their own grounds. The site of two ot 
these is now occupied by the Park Hospital, the greater part 
of the grounds of which was the original "green" enclosed in 



Campshill House— part of the property of Norfolk College, 
Greenwich — was built in 1820 by Mr. Henry Lee, and perpetuates 
the name of Kemp Hill, a name which appears in rentals and other 
documents of the 15th and i6th centuries, and seems to be derived 
from a family named Kemp, who were owners or occupiers in the 
14th century. 

On the site of the houses opposite Lanier Road was a villa 
with a duck pond, once the residence of the Spring Rices, whilst 
at the corner of George Lane, on other property of Norfolk College, 
was a small villa called Highfield Cottage, which was afterwards 
rebuilt and known as Beacon Lodge. This in its turn has given 
place to shops. 

In Duncrievie Road, near Hither Green Railway Station, 

Platk 4fi.— Owen's Shop, 304 Hu;h Street, Lewisham, aboit iS^n. 

was North Park Farmhouse, the farm lands extending over the 
district now -occupied by Brownhill Road and others adjoining. 
The lands on the western side of Hither Green Lane formed 
South Park Farm. This part of the district — some 300 acres — 
was the property of the Earl of St. Germans (as Lord of the Manor 
of Catford), who sold the whole for building purposes. A railway 
station on the Main and Dartford Loop Lines was opened at 
Hither Green on ist June, 1895. ^ large town of some 15,000 
inhabitants has now sprung up, and the entire area will shortly 


be covered with houses. In the middle of the i8th century a large 
wood .^? 40 acres, known as Butler's^ Gardens, o^up.ed the 
^romnd where the BrownhiU Road joins Hither Green Lane. This 
portion Jf BrolliU Road was made in .883, and opera- 

'""Vur" e'r' a"n. the lane is the cemetery, originally formed to 

memorates the ancient manor of that name. 

Returnin.^ to the High Street, to Whitburn Road we find a 
bloclf of shops erected in 1901 on the site of some v.l las known 
DiocK ui iiup Bridge House estates. Ihe 

^^cS:'"' iT/is ;:Sl,'';rop:«y the si«-haV,ng been bequeathed 
in 1610 by Mr. Bevll Moulsworth. 

From this point to the Vicarage the houses are> old 
and prXbly buildings have occupied the s,te ^^r some centur.e. 
Next to the "Castle" is a building which may be as old as the 
Wner car of the 17th century-it was formerly a private house 
iorsiblvtuo houses' but has for many years been inverted into 
L shoo ' The adioining premises are of i8th century date. A little 

Elizabeth-s time. It was entirely rebuilt in 1907- Ihe shop 
between this and the Vicarage replace houses of the time ot tne 
Geortes The e were formeVly several fine trees on the banks ot 
fhes^tream in front of these houses which have disappeared one 

by one. 

°The shops on the other side of the road, at the corner of 
Hithir Green^Lane. occupy the site of humbler P-^ece^ors o th 
early part of the iglh century, which seem to hax e been built o 
land enclosed from the road side. 

LaCyweU ParU was laid oj,. about ,«,oc,, K™- ^l;?^,;:- 
formerly a nursery garden. It is part ot 


'a word must be added here respecting Henry Grubb, one of 

age of 87 H lived alone, allowing no one to enter h- house 

^TSi:'^ a'"lo ^d'blvmd-^'btlirh; his arms, to protect the 
treasure concealed about the house, whilst -bwebs fill d the 
rooms, many of which had not been opened tor th,rt> or fort> 



The Vicarage, Ladywell, Brockley, and Honor Oak. 

)T the corner of Ladywell Road stands the Vicarage 
House, and it is tolerably certain that this has 
been the position of the Vicarage for a very con- 
siderable period. The house which sheltered 
Abraham Colfe and his predecessors was doubt- 
less a timber-framed dwelling, and this by 1692 
had become so dilapidated that Dr. George Stanhope, Dean of 
Canterbury, who was appointed Vicar in i68g, requested permis- 
sion to rebuild it. From the report of the Commission appointed 
by the Bishop of Rochester, we gather that they "found the dimen- 
sions of the ground the old vicaridg house then stood on to bee 
vpon the flatt twelve square and 2 foote and to contain about 
16 or 18 roomes great and small, that it was ruinous and out of 
repair and not habitable," and they recommended that "it be pulled 
down and the new house to be sett some few yards backwards 
more from the roade and into the orchard, and to contain upon the 
flatt 13 square and 90 foot and 12 roomes besides cellars." 

Accordingly a faculty was issued to Dr. Stanhope on the 
3rd May, 1692, and in his diary, which is in the church safe, he has 
left us a complete account of the cost, which he defrayed himself: — 

1692 P"' for Serving' and Return of the Comm. of View ^foo 15 o 

1693 For faculty to build, entry &c., and Comm. under 

Seal &c. ... ... ... ... ... ... 02 17 10 

F"or pulling- down the Old and making goo^l 

For clearing rubbish and digging the foundations 
To Mr. Moore for Timber 
P'' for 70,000 Place Bricks ... ... ... I 

10,000 Stock Bricks ... ... - 

and 2,000 Rubbing Bricks ... .. ... ) 

To Mr. Nich. Goodwin, of Hamersmith 
To Bricklayers in part ... 
More to Bricklayers 
More for Bricks .. ... .. 23 o o 

More for Timber ... ... ... ... 27 o o 

To Carpenters for work on my House ... ... 82 16 6 

To Sawyers ... ... . . ... ... 11020 

To Plaisterers 

To Stonecutter ... ... ... ... 

To the Lime Man ... 

F"or Sand and Carriage.. 
For Laths Nails and Tilepins ... 
For 2700 and half of Tiles 
To the Joyner 

To the Blacksmith 

To the Locksmith 
To the Glasier 
To the Plumber ... 
To the Painter 



















03 09 
06 05 











Hesidos many other Bills mislaid or lost. The totall which I find summd 
up from particulars not to be found amounts to i£t29 'S^- '^• 

Repairs of Vicaridjfe Barn to Carpenter ... .. ;^i8 lo o 

Paleirijc to my garden and yard ... ... ... 47 10 o 

For making mj- garden — ■ 

For Workmanship ... ... ... .. 10120 

For Turf, Gravel, Sand, Seeds, Trees, and 

Setting and Laying ... ... .. ... 42 06 6 

In 1692, the making of my garden and the fence of that and the yard stood me 

in^'ii4 9 pi. 
In this year the building the base of my house and the brick wall to the street 

stood me in £6^3 o o. 
1693. In this year the finishing of my house stood me in ;^3i5 os. od. The 

repairs of my Barn and Stables in ^£^28. 
1700. May. Altering the chimne\' in the little parlour ;{.oo 07 4. 

1718. Nov. 12. P'' to John F"inch of Deptford for clay for raising my kitchen 

pavenit £loi 05 o. 

1719. Sept. To Mr. Gilham, for wainscotting my Stud}- below stairs 

jQo^ 06 o. For other repairs and improvements £"06 03 o. 
1723. Memorand. That my wife did out of her allowance for the year 1723 

pay to the Bills of Bricklayers, Carpenters &c., for the repairs and 

improvements of my Vicarage House at Lewisham more than 

£70 o o. 
The house thus erected by Dr. Stanhope in 1692 remained 
without any material alteration until 1879, when the Rev. the Hon. 
.\. Legge, on his appointment as Vicar, caused it to be renovated, 
and added a drawing-room and other apartments on the garden 
side. The Rev. Samuel Bickersteth, during his Vicariate, added 
the wing on the left hand side of the house, which was built largely 
of bricks from Lewisham House, then being pulled down. 

Lewisham House, which stood at the opposite corner of 
Ladywell Road, was a large red brick matision, built or rebuilt in 
1680, if we may judge from the date on one of the leaden water 
heads. This waterhead also bore the initials of LL. A., those of 
Sir John Lethuillier and Anne, his wife, daughter of Sir Wm. Hooker, 
who is the lady referred to by Pepys, in 1665, as "Our noble fat 
brave lady in our parish, that I and my wife admire so." 

The house must originally have been a fine specimen of the 
domestic architecture of its day, but had been considerably altered 
in appearance, and completely spoilt by the substitution of modern 
windows, and by being covered with cement. The entrance doors 
led into a well-proportioned hall, but the interior had been so much 
modernized, that except in the upper rooms little remained of the 
original fittings. Behind a modern mantelpiece in one of the lower 
rooms was discovered the remains of a good fireplace which had 
the appearance of being Elizabethan work, and suggested that the 
house had been enlarged, rather than rebuilt, by Sir John Lethuillier. 
His great grandson, John Greene Lethuillier, sold it in 1776 to Mr. 
Sclater, of Rotherhithe. It was subsequently for a time divided 
into two, but was purchased in 181 2 from Mr. William Curling by 
Mr. Thomas Watson Parker, whose son, Mr. George Parker, lived 
there until his death in 1889, filling the role of village Squire, and, 
with his wife, a generous benefactor to the poor of the parish. 



The house was pulled down in 1894, and its site and that of 
the garden is now occupied by some shops, the Fire Station (1898), 
Police Station, and the Coroner's Court. 

Here we may turn to the right to visit Ladywell and 
Brockley, before completing the story of the High Street. 

Plate 47. — Lewisham Hoise. 

*' Ladywell " has a mediaeval ring about it which speaks of holy 
wells and pilgrims to the shrine of Our Lady. Unfortunately we 
have found no evidence of a holy well here in the middle ages, and 
neither on Rocque's map of 1745, nor Andrew, Drury & Herbert's 
map of 1769 does the name appear, nor are any houses shown, 
save the Bridge House Farm. The first appearance of the name in 
the Parish Registers is on the 7th May, 1793, when one Hester 
Grubb, was buried from Ladywell. No'furtheV entry occurs until 
1800, when " Ladywell Lane" is mentioned, and then no further 
entry until 1809. In 1810 it appears as " Lady's Weil." Hasted 



does not refer to this well in his History of Kent (1778), but 
Lysons, in his History of the Environs of London (1796--181 1), says: 
" Between Lewisham and Brockley is a well of the same quality as 
those at Tunbridge. A woman attends to serve the water, which 
is delivered gratis to inhabitants of the parish. The spring is the 
property of Lord Dartmouth." This well was situated about 
half-way up the hill leading to the Cemetery, in a portion of 
ground enclosed from the waste, on which two small cottages were 
built. The well known as " Ladywell " was not far from the 
western bank of the Ravensbourne, and the site is now covered by 

Plate 40. — Ladywell Bridge, 1810. 

the arches of the roadway which crosses the Mid-Kent line. The 
coping stones of this well are preserved in the garden of the 
Lewisham Swimming Baths. 

From the late date at which the name first appears, we can. 
come to no other conclusion but that it is a pretty but fanciful title, 
and has no connection with the Patron Saint of Lewisham Parish. 

Turning into Ladywell Road from the Vicarage, there formerly 
existed at the end of the Vicarage wall three old houses of Georgian 
date. These were demolished about 1890. Opposite to them was 
a row of small tenements, the backs of which formed the fruit wall 

* The whole question was discussed by Mr. C. A. Bradford, f.s.a. 
" Home Counties Magazine," for July, 1903. 

in the- 




cf the o^ardens of Lewisham House. The site of these is now 
occupied by the Coroner's Court and adjacent buildings. The 
Lewisham Pubhc Swimming Baths were built in 1884, on a part of 
the Glebe, formerly known as Church field, as also the Parish 
Church Hall in 1891. The pathway to the church ran through this 
meadow, and was railed in when the Hall was built and the 
Ladywell Recreation Ground formed. 

The small houses on the northern side of the road, together 
with Church Grove, were built in 1857. 

Up to about the year 1830, the bridge over the Ravensbourne 

r ' 


Plate r>0. — Ladywell Bridge, 18^7. 

was for foot passengers only. A reproduction of a pen and ink 
sketch of this bridge is given in Plate 49. Horses and carts drove 
through the river which was usually siiallow at this point. In 1830 
the first portion of the present brick bridge was built, and on the 
making of the Mid-Kent Railway in 1857, it was widened, and 
further arches constructed to carry the roadway over the line. It 
was then that the old well finally disappeared. On the northern 
side of the bridge is the turning to Vicar's Hill, which, with the 
roads adjacent, is the Vicar's glebe. This remained pasture land 
until about 1882, when Algernon Road was formed on the .site of 
the Lewisham Cricket Club ground, and building was commenced 
in the other roads. "Vicar's Hill" is the name by which the 
ground has been known at least as far back as Elizabeth's days, 
the term Hilly Fields being quite modern. 


Lady well Village consisted of a cluster of small cottages at the 
foot of the hill, on the ground now occupied by the shops between 
Ladywell Road and Gillian Street. They were built on land 
enclosed from the waste, and probably dated from about 1810. 
They were removed in 1885. Mercy Terrace and the houses, etc., 
round the Railway Station, followed the opening of the line in 1857. 
The remainder of Ladywell Village on the south side of the road 
consists of small cottages of a date about 1830-40. 

A word should here be said concerning the Ladywell Recreation 
Ground, which is some 51 acres in extent, and consists of several 
meadows by the side of the river Ravensbourne, between Ladywell 
and Catford. A movement was started about 1888 for a recreation 
ground for Lewisham, owing to the extensive building which had 
taken place, and this site was finally chosen in preference to that of 
the Rosenthal Estate then in the market. The ground was 
purchased in 1889 by the London County Council, and cost 
;^2i,88o, of which Lewisham contributed half. The fields which 
make up the first portion of the ground, from Ladywell to Medusa 
Road, were purchased from the Lord of the Manor, and are the 
"meadows of the lordship," which also comprised the land where 
Malyons Road is built, and that on the other bank of the river 
behind the Workhouse and Infirmary. These fields, there is little 
doubt, are the "30 acres of meadow " mentioned in Domesday. 

The Hilly Fields Recreation Ground of 45 acres on the 
summit of Vicar's Hill, was acquired in 1896, at a cost of;^44,872, 
towards which Greenwich contributed ^7,000, Lewisham ;^2,8oo, 
the Lewisham Parochial Charities ;^2,500, and ^9,000 was 
collected in the surrounding district, the balance being met by the 
London County Council. This neighbourhood is therefore well 
provided with open space for recreation. 

On the left or southern side of the Ladywell Road was an 
estate named Slagrave Farm, consisting of some 35 acres (the 
fields were named Dissington, Foxborough Hill, etc.) The farm 
was sold in 1894 to the Guardians of the Poor of the Parish of 
Bermondsey, who have built thereon a " Home of Rest " for their 
aged poor. 

Further along the road, and on the same side of the way, was 
the Bridge House Farm, another of the estates of that Corporation. 
It has belonged to them from mediaeval times. The old farmhouse 
and buildings were demolished in 1895, '^"*^ ^^^ whole estate laid 
out for building small houses. The area is roughly indicated by 
Chudleigh Road. 

At the top of Ladywell Road is the Lewisham Cemetery, 
formed in 1856 and opened in 1858, the parish churchyard being 
full. On Rocque's map, 1745, part of the site is marked as 
" Brockley Wood," whilst on the Tithe Map, 1845, the whole area 
of 30 acres (which then belonged to the Earl of Dartmouth) is 
styled "Great Field." Its earlier name appears to have been 
Strodes or Shrouds, and it was Lammas or half-year land. 



At the Cemetery we enter that part of the Borough known as 
Brockley. The district bearing this name is partly in Lewisham 
and partly in Deptford, and has been so from time immemorial. 
Although it is styled a " manor," no record exists of the holding of 
any Manor Court, and the inhabitants of the Lewisham portion 
appear to have attended the Court of that Manor. The Manor of 
Bankers claimed jurisdiction over a large portion of the area, and 
the owners of Brockley paid quit rent of 4s. 8d. yearly to the Lord 
of that Manor. In the reign of Henry IL Brockley was held by 
Wakelin de Maminot, by whom it was granted to Michael de 
Turnham, who, however, sold it to Juliana, wife of Wakelin, to 
found a religious house. Meanwhile the Premonstratensians had 
settled at Ottham, in Sussex, and to them Brockley was given as a 
more convenient spot. Whether they ever removed to Brockley is 
doubtful, since Begham, in Sussex, was shortly afterwards conferred 
upon them, and there they built their Abbey, and dwelt until the 
days of Henry VHL 

King John, in 1208, confirmed them in their possessions of 
" Brokele," and they continued to hold the property until 1526, 
when, with other small religious houses, the Abbey was suppressed. 
Brockley was then settled by Cardinal Wolseley on his new College 
at Oxford, but on his attainder in 1529, it came with his other 
■estates to the Crown. 

The portions in Deptford were then separated from those in 
Lewisham, and ultimately descended to the Wickhams, Drakes, 
and Tyrwhitt-Drakes, after whom some of the roads are named. 
The Lewisham portion (284 acres of land and 120 acres of wood) 
was granted away by the Crown, and came in 1579 into the hands 
of Brian Annesley, of Lee, who purchased it for ;^8oo from Sir 
Roger Manwood, Baron of the Exchequer. In Annesley's will it is 
styled "Forest Place, now called Brockley Farm House in the 
hamlet of Brockley, in the parish of Lewisham," and he left it to his 
second daughter. Lady Christian, wife of Lord Sandys. It after- 
wards came to her younger sister, Cordelia, who married Sir 
William Harvey (Baron Kidbrook), and was sold by them to 
Edward Montague, v/ho was created Baron Montague, of 
Boughton, in 1621. The trustees of his great grandson, John, 
Duke of Montague, sold Brockley in 1717, to James Craggs, Esq., 
senior. Postmaster General. .At his death in 1721, his property 
passed to his three daughters, and, eventually, through the second 
daughter, Elizabeth, to Edward Eliot, of St. Germans, who was 
created Baron Eliot in 1784, and whose descendants were advanced 
in the peerage as Earls of St. Germans. 

On the maps of the country round Lewisham in the i8th century 
{Rocque's, 1745, and others), Brockley appears as consisting of the 
house now known as Brockley Hall, a few houses opposite to this, 
and a little further down Brockley Road — about the junction with 
Stondon Park — was Brockley Farmhouse, the buildings of w.hich 
extended northwards. .A lane ran nearly on the site of Crofton 



Park Road, and came, out into Brockley Road, not far from the 
farm. The remainder was open country, with woods stretching- 
over the whole of Honor Oak, from the borders of Surrey down to 
Brockley Road and up Brockley Hill. The woods have long since 
disappeared, and streets are fast covering the fields. 

Adelaide Road is built on part of the Bridge House estates, the 
trustees of which gave the site for St. Cyprian's Church, built in 
igor. Ivy Lane, which bounds the northern side of the Cemeter)-, 
is an ancient right of way which appears on the maps of 1745. The 
history of the site of the Cemetery has already been given (page 1 14). 

Plate 52.— The "Brockley Jack 

Further along the Brockley Road is Crofton Park Station, on the 
Nunhead and Shortlands Railway, v.hich has given its name (a 
modern one) to the surrounding roads. 

A word must be said of the 'Brockley Jack," once an old-world, 
wayside, wooden hostelry, which is said to have been frequented by 
Dick Turpin and other highwaymen, and, since in those days there 
was scarcely a house in Brockley Lane (as it was then called) from 
Stanstead (Stonystreet) Lvne to New Cross, it must have been an 
ideal spot as a rendezvous. In the Enclosure Award of 1810 it is 
styled the " Brockley Castle," and then stood on Brockley Green, 
which was enclosed by the Act of Parliament of that year. 

Honor Oak is marked in Rocque's map of 1745 as "Oak of 
Arnon," probably due to a fault in the local pronunciation of that 


date. The name has of late years been associated with the visit of 
Queen Elizabeth, who, on May Day, 1602, came a-maying to Sir 
Richard Buckley's, at Lewisham. The tradition is that the great 
queen dined under the shade of an oak tree on the summit of the 
hill either on this or some other occasion. The story is not 
improbable, seeing the proximity to Greenwich, where the Court 
was frequently in residence, but it must in truth be confessed that 
there is no direct evidence which can be brought in support. The 
name. Oak of Honour, is, however, at least as old as 161 2, as it 
then occurs as one of the bounds of Lewisham Manor. The view 
from the hill, which is 300 feet high, is very extensive, and must 
have been of great beauty before the long lines of streets began to 
cover the surrounding landscape. As the result of a strong 
remonstrance against the enclosing of what is claimed as an historic 
site, the summit of the hill was purchased in 1905, and is maintained 
by the Borough of Camberwell as an open space, a fresh oak tree 
being planted to keep in remembrance the story of the name. On 
the eastern slope of the hill is the Church of St. Augustine, which 
was built in 1874. This is now for administrative purposes in the 
Parish of Camberwell. By a rearrangement of boundaries that 
portion of Lewisham from Honor Oak Park to Ivydale Road, 
Nunhead, was exchanged with Camberwell for a somewhat similar 
area south of Forest Hill Road, bounded on the west by Wood 
Vale and Sydenham Hill. Historically, however. Honor Oak must 
be claimed as within the bounds of Lewisham. 


The Parish Church to Rl shev Green. 

E; must now turn back, through Ladywell to Lewis- 
ham High Street, to the building and site around 
whicli the parochial life of the parish has centred 
for at least a thousand years — the Parish Church. 
It is the story of no splendid fane, with "storied 
aisles and windows richly dight,"that we have to 
tell, and yet, simple to insignificance as the building was through- 
out the greater part of its history, it can tell us of the devotion of 
many a generation for the worship of .Almighty God, whilst in the 
churchyard sleep countless numbers of our predecessors from 
Saxon times almost to the present day. 

When a church was first erected here it is not possible to say. 
As we have seen, the district was settled, with a name, in the 9th 
century, and in 918 became the property of the Abbey of St. Peter, 
and when in 964 the grant was confirmed by King Edgar, the 
words, speaking of Lewisham, Greenwich, etc., "with their 


churches, churchyards, etc.," were inserted. This may have been 
mere phraseology, but it is highly probable that a church did exist 
at the time, and was no doubt built soon after the grant of a.d. 918, 
when the Abbot of Ghent would have sent over a representative to 
take charge of his new possessions. 

There is no mention of a church in Domesday Book, but the 
Commissioners were not specially charged to report as to the 
existence of churches, and frequently omit them in cases where 
they are known to have been built prior to the Conquest. It is 
most improbable that a population of 300 or 4(^0 would have existed 
without a building for worship. 

At this period the church would have been what we call to-day 
a rectory, the parish priest receiving the whole of the tithe. A 
custom sprang up of appropriating a parish church to some 
religious house, for the support of the latter, whereby the whole 
of the tithe was transferred to the favoured monastery, which not 
infrequently made but scanty provision for the spiritual needs of 
the places from whence they drew their revenues. The evil grew 
at length to such a -pass, that the Lateran Council in 1179 decreed 
that in all such cases the religious house which held the tithes 
should be bound to appoint a cleric as its vicar, to serve the parish, 
with an adequate salary. 

The ultimate result of the system was not of course foreseen. 
When the monastic houses were suppressed by Henry \TII, that 
portion (much the larger as a rule, although not so in Lewisham) 
of the tithe held by the monasteries was not returned to the 
parochial clergy, but passed with the other property into lay hands. 
The old parish churches of England thus carry with them to-day 
the story of their former owners, and if the incumbent is a "vicar" 
we know at once that the church formerly belonged to a religious 
house, and the "rector" to-day in such cases is a layman, e.g., 
at Lewisham the Earl of Dartmouth. 

Acting on the above-mentioned decree, the Bishop of Rochester, 
in the reign of Henry H, appropriated the Church of Lewisham to 
the Abbey of St. Peter at Ghent, the Abbey undertaking to appoint 
a vicar, and the list of vicars is almost complete from that time 

The early church would have been very small, and, judging by 
examples in otlier places, we may imagine a building with a nave 
30 or 40 feet long by 20 feet wide, with a small chancel at the 
eastern end. As time went on an aisle was added on the south 
side, also with a chancel or chapel to the east, and there would 
have been a bell turret on the western gable. The whole building 
was probably not larger than the Parish Church Hall. In 1471, 
when the Wars of the Roses were dying down, a movement was 
started here, as in many other places, to build a bell tower. One 
William Sprig's name occurs first on the list, and in that year he 
bequeathed his houses in Greenwich towards the Building Fund. 
His example was followed by nearly every one in the parish who 


had anything to give, and the bequests cover the period from 147 1 
to 1498. In that year a Robert Cheseman, who owned Sydenham, 
desired his executors to "glaze the grete new wyndowe in the 
belfraye with the picture of the passion of our Lord," and in 1512 
the little newel stairway, or " vice," was built, William Batt giving 
26s. 8d. towards it. This tower still stands, and was carefully 
repaired in 1907. 

When the tower was finished the parishioners commenced to 
furnish it with bells. In 15x7 John Francis left ^t, 6s. Sd. — a 
large sum in those days — to buy a bell. Other bequests also occur 
for the same purpose, Thomas Gryme, husbondman, in 1529 leaving 
6s 8d. "to the belles of Leuysham," and in 1552, when an inven- 
tory of the church goods was taken, there were " four great bells 
of brass " in the steeple. There is now a ring of eight, varying in 
dates from 1766 (No. 7) to 1819. No. 5, which was cast in 1777, 
has the lines : — 

" Ve people nil who hear me ring-, 
Be faithful to your God and King." 

To return to the old church. From a description printed in 
1790, we learn that the entrance then, as now, was by a large 
porch descending one step, and into the church two steps more, 
thus the floor was level with the vaults under the present church. 
The church consisted, as we have said above, of a nave and south 
aisle, each with a separate roof, and at the east end was a large 
central pillar, from which sprang the arches of the roof and aisle. 
The ceiling was painted, rudely representing clouds, stars, etc. 
The floor was paved with small square tiles. In the body of the 
church were four rows of pews: the two middle rows joined, the 
side rows being separated by an aisle or passage-way round the 
church. The pulpit and reading-desk were against the north wall. 
Such is the picture drawn for us by one who had seen the building, 
and many a village church will help us to imagine fairly correctly 
what the church was like. 

From the Parish Registers we gather that as late as 1759, the 
aisles were known as the " men's aisle" and the " women's aisle" 
respectively, recalling the time when the sexes were separated in 
church, and the custom may have obtained even at that date, since 
it lingers yet in part in some country places. 

In mediseval times the chancel at the east end of the south 
aisle was dedicated to the Holy Trinity, and two chantries (sup- 
pressed by Edward \T) were founded therein, one by Richard 
Walker, citizen and grocer of London, in 1494, and the other by 
Roger Fitz, of Rushey Green, in 1504. In this chancel was an 
iiTUige of St. John Baptist. In ihe high chancel, i.e., that at the 
east end of the nave, was an image of the Patron Saint, St. Mary, 
and there was another image of her in a little niche in a pillar in 
the nave. Another image was that of the unfortunate king, 
Henry \T, who was regarded as a saint by the people, and images 
of him were set up in several churches. /\s his father, the gallant 



Henry V, had conferred Lewisham on the Pnory of Shene, we 
have a possible reason for his image in the church here. All these 
images had lights burning before them, the gifts of pious persons, 
and having thus been " superstitiously abused as the phrase was, 
were removed in the reign of Edward VI. under whose mjunct.ons 
only two lights were to remain, viz., those on the high altar. 

Of the church in the 17th century we have little account. In 
1641 during the vicariate of Abraham Colfe, it was visited by the 
Puritan soldiery, who pulled up the altar rails and threw them in 
the river Bv '177-, the church had fallen into disrepair, and man> 
cracks appearing in the great central column above mentioned, due 
no doubt to burials, a committee was formed, under the Earl ot 
Dartmouth, to consider the condition of the building. The archi- 
tects consulted recommended the raising ot the floor, and the 
takincr down of the interior arches, and other alterations, and it 
was fi'iallv decided to rebuild the church entirely, save the tmver. 
An Act of Parliament was obtained in 1774, and the plans ot Mr. 
John Gibson were approved. Tenders were invited, which varied 
from ^^ ISO to ^4,086, and this latter, that of Oliver Burton & Co., 
was accepted. The money was obtained by a system ot annuities 
secured on the sums received for letting the vaults and the pews 
in the galleries. The new church was finished in i777. the nrst 
service being held on the 7th September ot that year. The work 
included the raising of the tower by the addition ot the present 

upper^stor^e^ ^^^^^_^^^^^ ^g^^^^ ^^^ overheating of the tlues set fire 
to the woodwork, burning some of the pews and portions of he 
gallery, and most unfortunately destroying a large part ot the 
Parish Registers and papers. ^, t, x 

In 188,, during the vicariate of the Rev. The Hon. Augustus 
Legge. now Bishop of Lichfield, an extensive scheme of rearrange- 
ment was carried out. The Earl of Dartmouth replaced the sma 1 
eastern apse by a chancel, with north and south 'chapels, and Mr^ 
George Parker, of Lewisham House, refitted the nave. The whole 
was carried out from the designs of Sir Arthur Blomfield. 

Leavin.. the parish church we turn to the houses on the other 
or eastern side of the street, and retrace our steps to the corner of 
Ladywell Park. Here the block of villas at the southern corner 
now turned into ofl^ces and shops, was built in ^860 and those at 
the northern corner in .863, on the nursery ground uhch extended 
over the area at present covered by Ladywell Park. Next we 
S"-e a small square cottage, and southward of that -me |vo 
houses, probablv of the latter part of the 17th centur), which 
for manv vears'have been occupied as a butcher's and grocers 
respectively. They still form a picturesque little group in the 

modern street. c*,^cfo Hoikp 

The next house (No. 295), formerly known as Streete House 
is parish property, standing on ground bequeathed to the parish in 
1626 by Mr. Humphrey Streete. 



The adjoining shops (Nos. 297 to 301) are built upon the fore- 
courts of what were originally small private houses of the early 
part of the 19th century. The frontage now occupied by Nos. 303 
to 307 was formerly occupied by a row of small cottages, which 
were pulled down about 1875. They will be seen, together with the 
Streete House, etc , in Plate 55- 

A more recent disappearance has been the house shown in 
Plate 54, known some sixty years ago as " Pilcher's," and lately 

Plate 54. — Mr. Pilcher's Hoi se (lately Weatherley s), Xo. 31J Hu^h 
Street, i860. 

occupied by Mr. Weatherley, which was pulled down in 1906. The 
two next houses are of the i8th century, one with a modern shop 
on the forecourt. 

The house at present known as the " Coach and Horses " was 
formerly a hay and straw dealer's. 

Two small cottages come next, and then the St. Mary's National 



Schools. The 'Reading School founded by Mr. Colfe seems to 
have occupied the place of an elementary school for boys for 
many years. In 1699 Dean Stanhope and his wife started a school 
for girls, to which they left a small endowment. In 1833 new 
schools for both boys and girls were established, on the National 
System, on land belonging to the Earl of Dartmouth, who, in 
1856, conveyed the site and buildings to the Vicar for the above 
purpose. The buildings have been enlarged from time to time by 

Opposite St. Mary's Schools, and adjoining the churchyard, 
stood, until 1907, a weather-boarded timber frame house of the 

Plate 5.).~Cottac;ks opposite St. Mary's Chirch (now Xos. jpt, to 309). 

18th century, known as Church House. It was not parish property, 
but its site and name suggest that it occupied the position of the 
mediaeval church house, a building which seems to have existed 
in every parish, where various parochial property was kept, ales 
were brewed, and persons coming from outlying hamlets to church 
could rest themselves. The church house of mediaeval days dis- 
appeared in the times which followed the Reformation, and has 
been resuscitated in recent vears in the Parochial Hall. 


Adjoining the wooden house referred to is a brick house of the 
19th century, and further south come some houses of the i8th 
century, much altered in outward appearance, one the "Jolly 
Farmers," having been rebuilt in recent times. 

Next to these last is Sion House, a large brick fronted and 
cemented house, with the rear portion weather boarded. This 
house was formerly known as the "George." In 1588 it was the 
property of Mr. Peter Manning, of Downe in Kent, who sold it in 
that year to Mr. Humphrey Streete, citizen and merchant tailor of 
London. Mr. Streete left a rent charge of 20s. a year to the poor 
of Lewisham on this house, which is still paid. The " George " 
Inn was removed from hence to its present position at the corner 
of George Lane some time in the i8th century. There formerly 
existed in the parish church a Guild of our Lady and St. George, 
and this house may have been originally connected therewith. It 
has been purchased by the Unitarians, who intend erecting a church 
on the site of the stables. 

The Lewisham Free Library, which comes next to Sion 
House, was opened in 1900. It stands on ihe site of a house known 
as Cliffe Villa. 

In his will Mr. Colfe records that out of consideration of the 
great poverty of the parish and the inability of most to relieve the 
poor, he desired that in 1662 three almspeople were to be chosen, 
and subsequently two more, making five in all. They were to be 
threescore years old, past hard bodily labour, and able to say with- 
out book the Lord's Prayer, the Christian's Belief, and the Ten 
Commandments. They were to have 3d. a day allowed to them, 
and every second year a gown of black or dark-coloured cloth with 
a badge bearing the words " Lewisham in Kent " on the breast. 
He further desired that in 1662 ;;^2io should be laid out in building 
three almshouses of flint and well burnt brick, and during the 
succeeding years two more houses for the other almspeople. Every 
house was to have a chimney, one room below of fourteen or 
fifteen feet long and twelve feet broad and a little buttery, and 
each of them a good loft or room above with convenient stairs to 
g^o up to it. They were to be joined together and built on two 
sides of the yard of a house he had purchased, together with a 
little brick room with a window, where the five almspeople were to 
meet daily for prayer. Little garden plots were to be laid out for 
each, sixteen feet broad. The gate next the street was to have a 
good lock carefully locked every night, and every almsbody was to 
have a key to that lock, but yet not suffered to >go out in the night 
without leave of the master of the reading school, who was 
apparently to exercise a general supervision. 

Mr. Colfe died in 1657, and the Leathersellers' Company, as 
his trustees, proceeded to give effect to his wishes. At a meeting 
of the Court held on 7th July, 1663, it was resolved that as the 
arrangements detailed by the Founder for building the almshouses 
gradually would prove expensive, the whole of the houses should 


be built forthwith. The exact arrangement of the houses round 
two sides of a yard, as detailed above, was evidently not considered 
advisable, and as the Governors added a sixth house themselves, a 
plan was approved with the little chapel in the centre and three 
houses on either side, as we see them to-day. 

Over the chapel door is a shield containing the Arms of the 
Founder together with those of the Leathersellers' Company. 
There is also the following inscription : — 


The designs for the almshouses were prepared by a Mr. Peter 
Mills, to whom i'l 1665 a sum of ;^5 ids. was paid for drawing 
"several platformes \i.e., plans] for the said building." The 
building was entrusted to Mr. Botsford, carpenter, and a sum of 
IDS. was expended in 1663 " for a platforme of the Alms Howses" 
for his use. The cost of the actual building is entered in the 
Leathersellers' accounts as follows : — 

1663-4 Payd unto Mr. Botsford, carpenter, in parte of what is 

agreed for building; of Mr. Calfes Almeshowses ... ... ;£i7o 

Item, spentt at severall meetings of the Committee about 
the said Almes Howses and treating with severall workmen 
about building them ... ... ... ... ... 51s 

Item, payd vnto certaine workemen of Greenwich and 
Lewisham that came from thense about the saide worke for 
theire paines and time attending therevppon ... ... 40Si 

1664-5 Paid Mr Botsford the carpenter in further parte of what 

is agreed for building Mr Calfes Almes Howses ... ... ;^85 

1665-6 Paid Mr Botsford remaining payment for building .Alm.s- 

houses .. ... ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ;C65 

1667-8 Paid vnto Mr Williams [master of the reading school] 
which was bj' him laid out for the reading deske and seats 
about the chappell at Lewisham... ... ... ... 47s 

The total cost of the building was therefore a little over ^ZTP- 
One of the first occupants, and so named in Mr. Colfe's will, was- 
his old and trusty servant, Christian Padmore, and she continued 
to live therein until her death in 1667-8, when there is an entry in 
the accounts : — 

Paid b}' order of Court unto Margaret Smith sister of 
Christian Padmore towards her buriall... ... ... ... los 

In 1700 Matthew Jennings, the tailor, was paid 17s. for 
making " five gownes and a coat for Lewisham Almes people," 
no doubt according to the Founder's directions. About this time 


















items begin to appear which indicate that reparations 
needed: — 

1701-2 Paid Joseph Rawbone his bill for ripping- and new 
laying 30 square and 69 feet of plain tiling and for 
repairing the tops of Chyninej's, Hearths, and plaister- 
ing at the Almeshouses the last year ... ... £.2^ 19 

Paid Major George Heath his bill for plumbers work 
done at Lewisham Almes Houses last year ... ^.'J 16 

Paid Lettice Good for glaisiers work done at Lewis- 
ham Almeshouses last year ... ... ... ... ... 17 

Other items occur occasionally as follows : — 

1726-27 To a carpenter for work at the Alms Houses 
For glasiers work at the chappell 

1730-31 Paid the Carpenters for pales at ihe Alms houses 

1755-56 Repairs at the Almshouses 
Mr. Baker, bricklayer 
,, Corbett, carpenter 
,, Saint, glasier ... 

Nothing further seems to have been required until 1790-91, 
when evidently extensive work had to be undertaken, since a sum 
of ;^205 was paid to Messrs. Corbett & Co., carpenters and brick- 
layers, "for repairing almshouses at Lewisham as per estimate of 
Richard Norris," the latter receiving a payment as surveyor of ;^io. 

It will not be necessary to follow all the repairs executed 
during the 19th century, but it may be recorded that in the course 
of some work done about 1860 the two oval windows in the chapel 
were bricked up. They still appear as retaining their glass in 
photographs of 1856. 

During the last few years at least ;£^200 was spent upon the 
buildings in order to try and keep them standing, but at last, in 
1905, the sanitary authorities stepped in and ordered them to be 
closed. Estimates of the work required to put the houses into 
thorough repair, together with a sum to clear off past liabilities, 
amounted to ;^87o, and it seemed as though the old almshouses 
must disappear. A strong wish was expressed locally that some- 
thing should be done to save these picturesque remnants of the 
fast-vanishing Lewisham of the past, and a public enquiry was 
held. After considering the matter the Leatherseliers' Company 
offered to be responsible for ;^,470 if the remainder could be pro- 
vided by the people of Lewisham. Of the ;^400 thus required 
;^20o was forthcoming from certain funds known as Herbage 
Rents, and the remaining ;^'20o was raised by subscription. The 
work of reparation was carried out by Messrs. A. J. Staines & Co., 
under the superintendence of Horace Porter, Esq., survejor to the 
Leatherseliers' Company, who is to be congratulated on having 
so admirably preserved the ancient appearance of the buildings. 

The property fronting the High Street, from and including the 
ground where the almshouses are built to about half the frontage 
of the Infirmary, was purchased at various dates by the Rev. 



Abraham Colfe for the purpose of establishing his almshouses and 
reading school, and to form part of the endowment of his educa- 
tional schemes. On the ground now occupied by the almshouses 
was a house and tanyard, which had belonged to Jasper Valentine, 
Mrs. Colfe's former husband. This house was held of the Manor 
of Brockley. Where the villas Nos. 380 to 386 High Street stand 

Plate 57.— Mr. Woodham's Hoise, High Strekt (now No. 394). 

was a house built by Mr. Michael Frisby in 1628, on ground which 
also belonged to Jasper Valentine. The house on this side was 
afterwards known as Yew Tree House, and subsequently as Dart- 
mouth House, and was demolished in 1861. The present villas 
were erected in 1871. 


The house immediately south of the preceding is described by 
Mr. Colfe as "a house and tan yard"; it was also part of the 
Valentine property, and was held of the Manor of Bankers and 
Shroffolds. This house was rebuilt at the end of the i8th century, 
and was latterly known as "The Jasmines." Together with the 
remaining part of the Colfe property adjoining it to the south, it 
was acquired in 1890 by the Lewisham Guardians for the enlarged 
Infirmary, and a house for the medical officer was built on the site. 

The site of the carriage entrance to the Infirmary, the In- 
firmary Office and part of the Infirmary frontage, was occupied by 
two old plastered houses — one known as " Woodham's " in 1845, 
from the name of the occupier — and by Mr. Colfe's Reading School. 
A view of Woodham's house in given in Plate 57. 

The Reading School was founded by the Rev. Abraham Colfe 
about the year 1652. It possibly preceded the opening of the 
Crammar School. It was intended to be what is now called a 
"primary school," but included the rudiments of Latin, and the 
Founder's intention was that it should be a stepping stone for boys 
"of good wit" to the Grammar School, and thence to the Uni- 
versities. Thirty-one boys were to be freely instructed, the master 
being permitted to take others on his own terms. The school seems 
to have been conducted as desired by the Founder during the 17th 
century, and there are records of boys passing up to the Grammar 
School, but the system fell into decay in the latter half of the iSth 
century, and on the establishment of the Elementary Schools, sub- 
sequent to 1870, the school was closed. The site was granted for 
the Grammar School for Girls, but was sold in 1889 to the Guardians 
of the Lewisham Union for the Infirmary buildings. 

The Lewisham Infirmary and Workhouse have also absorbed 
the site of an interesting row of houses known as Exchequer Place, 
which extended from the Reading School up to, but not including, 
the site of the office of the Relieving Officer. The houses, which 
probably dated from about the year- 1700, were in two blocks, 
with an ancient limber house in the centre, as will be seen from 
Plate 58. 

No. 392 High Street is on the site of the house nearest to the 
reader in Plate 58, and to some extent reproduces the appearance 
of its predecessor. This little row of houses was one oi the most 
picturesque in the village, and one cannot but regret that the 
necessary enlargement of the Workhouse entailed its removal. 

When the first Workhouse was erected in Lewisham we have 
no record. The altered condition of things in the middle of the 
1 6th century, made some systematic provision for the poor essential. 
This was at first met from the "poor men's box" in the parish 
church, but it was soon found that the State would have to make 
the care of the poor a compulsory matter, and in 1601 the basis of 
the present poor law system was laid. The early records of the 
Overseers for Lewisham were destroyed in the fire at Lewisham 
Church in 1831, except one book now at the Town Hall, which 



•contains particulars of poor rates from 1764 to 1769. From this 
we gather that the average rate for the poor was is. 6d. per 
annum in those years, and that a rate of 6d. in the ^ produced 
£iS^ 7s. 

The Workhouse in the early part of last century was situated 
nearly opposite the "George" Inn. The first portion of the present 
building was erected in 1821, and it was considerably enlarged in 

Until the year 1884 the site from the Workhouse to Thackeray's 
Almshouses was occupied by a house known as "The Priory," with its 
gardens and adjoining grounds, which extended in the rear to the 
present Recreation Ground (Plate 64.) The house, of which portions 

Pl.ate 58.— Excheqler Place, High Street, Lewisham. 

still remain in the present shops, notably No. 418, which was the 
entrance hall, was a sham Gothic structure of the early part of the 
19th century, and must not be confused with the mediaeval Priory, 
which stood on the other side of the road nearer Catford. 

.■\mongst those who have occupied the house, mention must 
be made of Mr. John Thackeray, who in 1840 built and endowed 
the six almshouses called by his name. He died in 1851, and is 
commemorated by his almshouses, and a large monument in the 
Parish Church, now placed on the wall over the western arch. 

The property was sold in 1884-5, when Albacore Crescent, 


Medusa Road, Blagdon Street and Felday Road were formed on 
the site of the gardens. 

Next to the Almshouses is a house, now converted into a shop, 
on the site of the old Workhouse. 

From this point to Hawstead Road the frontage was occupied 
by the house known as " Springfield," with its stabling, etc. The 
house remains converted into shops (Nos. 20 and 22 Rushey Green). 
Another villa, part of the same property, occupied the site of 
Bradgate Road, and the grounds extended in the rear to the 
Mid-Kent Railway. They were laid out for building about the 
same time as the Priory Fstate, under the title of "Springfield 
Park"; Bradgate Road, Holbeach Road, NelgarJe Road, Silvermere 
Road, Brookdale Road and Springfield Park Crescent being, for 
the most part, built thereon. 

It was at "Springfield" that the rivulet commenced which 
formerly flowed down the side of the High Street, and passed into 
the Ravensbourne at Lewisham Bridge, near the " Roebuck " Inn. 
Along its banks were many fine elm trees, and the appearance of 
the High Street is stated by those who remembered it in the days 
referred to, as more like a road through a park. In 1855, when the 
main sewer was being constructed, the water was drained off. The 
space formerly occupied by the stream was then fenced in, and 
planted, and it is these plantings which still give a distinctive air 
to the High Street. They are one of the assets of the Borough, 
and the local authorities might do more to make them a really 
attractive feature of the place. It is to be hoped that any attempt 
to curtail them will be rigorously opposed. 

At the corner of Hawstead Road is the Grammar School for 
Girls, which is built on a part of the gardens of "Springfield," 
purchased with the proceeds of the sale of the ground granted out 
of the Colfe Estates The school owes its origin largely to the 
Rev. Joseph Prendergast, d.d.. Headmaster of Colfe's Grammar 
School, who left a sum of about ;^5,coo for the purpose. This 
was augmented from various other local educational charities, and 
the buildings were erected in 1890. They were enlarged by the 
London County Council in 1907. 

It will now be necessary to take a survey of the eastern side 
of the High street, from the St. Mary's National Schools. The foot- 
path by the side of these schools is an ancient right of way, and 
led eastward over Kemps Hill, Ryecroft, and Hocum Pocum to 
Lee High Road. 

Lewisham Park, with the ground at present (1908) used as 
allotment gardens, is the property of the Earl of Dartmouth, as 
Lord of the Manor, and originally formed part of the great 
" Southfield " of the Manor. The name was perpetuated in the 
villas erected at the southern corner near Mount Pleasant Road 
(Nos. 359 and 361). The earliest mention of the field is in a grant 
about the year 1260, by one William le Plummer, of Leueseham, tc 
John, called " Ferdebin," of all his land in the field called 



" Suthfeld " in Leueseham, adjoining- the land of the Prior of 
Leueseham, and in an extent of the Manor of Lewisham in 1370, it 
is recorded that " in the same manor there are in Suthfeld 40 acres 
of arable land of the value of 3d. per acre." The land was " half- 
year" land, i.c.,\t was open for the benefit of the freeholders of the 
manor yearly, from Lammas to ploughing time. These rights were 
ended by the Lewisham Enclosure Act of 1810. Under the name of 
Lewisham Park it was laid out for building about 1840, the houses 
being well set back from the high road, and the whole centre of the 
field left an open space, with houses built on the outer circle. If 
other landowners would follow this excellent example, there would 
be less danger of overcrow^ding and insanitary areas. 

Plate 60. — View of Molnt Pleasant Hoise, 1825. 

In some pleadings of the time of James I, it is recorded that a 
right of way was claimed through Southfield, and this is no doubt 
the footpath mentioned above. 

Continuing along the High Street, and passing No. 361, we 
come to Mount Pleasant. There formerly stood an old red brick 
house on the site of No. 363, which, in its later stage, was used as 
a home for boys of the Parish of St. George, Southwark. Mount 
Pleasant House itself stood on the brow of the hill, with the 
gardens stretching down the slope and farm buildings in the rear, 
near where Fordyce Road now enters George Lane. The orchard 
occupied the ground between Fordyce Road and Littlewood Road. 



At "Mount Pleasant" lived Mr. Abraham Constable; and a view of 
the house in 1825 is given in Plate 60. It originally consisted of a 
ground and first floor, but a second floor was added as shown in the 
drawing. Mr. Constable is said to have been the last man in 
Lewisham to wear a queue. The house was subsequently tenanted 
by Mr. Richard Constable, and from 1852 to 1859 by the Rev. John 
Holdsworth Morgan as a school. It was pulled down about i860, 
and Mount Pleasant Road subsequently formed through the centre 
of the estate. 

At the corner of George Lane stood another villa known as 
"The Maples," a view of which about 1830 is shown in Plate 61. 

Plate 61.— "The Maples," corner of George Lane, abolt 1830. 

The pond in the front disappeared in later years. The house was 
occupied bv Mr. Thomas Tanner, and later by Mr. Castendick, 
Mr (Sir) John Aird, and others. It was pulled down in 1890, and 
Roxley Road was built on the site, together with the shops Nos. 

'^89 to 401 in the High Street. 

George Lane, so named from the " George Inn, which now 

stands at the south-east corner, is a comparatively modern road. 

It is not shown on the maps of 1745 (Rocque and others), and may 


originally have been either a footway or farm track. A few of the 
houses at the south-western end of the road are of early Victorian 
<3ate, and the two houses which form the buildings of Catford 
Collegiate School were built in the " fifties," the remainder of the 
houses in the road being of modern date; those on the northern 
side are built on the grounds of Mount Pleasant House. 

On the brow of the hill, on the southern side of the road, stood 
*' Mountsfield," the residence of the late Mr. Henry Stainton, the 
eminent entomologist. The grounds were purchased in 1905, and 
formed into a public recreation ground, enlarged by the addition of 
adjoining land which had been previously purchased by the London 
School Board, the whole forming a park of about 14 acres. The 
"house was pulled down, with the exception of outbuildings utilized 
as refreshment rooms. There is an extensive view from the 
g^rounds, with the Hilly Fields, Forest Hill, and the Crystal Palace 
hills on the horizon. 

The " George "' Inn, which now occupies the corner of George 
Lane, was removed hither from Sion House, near the church 
{q.v.\ sometime in the i8th century. The buildings were the 
homestead of a large farm belonging to the Stoddard family, which 
•extended over the fields in the rear. They are of about mid- 
eighteenth century date. 

Next to the "George," southwards, was a group of 
i8th century weather-boarded cottages, which, with two brick 
houses of slightly later date which had been inserted in the group, 
formed a picturesque "bit" of old Lewisham. They have during the 
past few years been altered considerably, some having shop fronts 
built on the fore-courts, and others rebuilt altogether (Plate 59). 

The "George" Inn on the eastern side of the road, and 
Thackeray's Almshouses on the western side, form the commence- 
ment of that part of the parish known as Rushey Green, a name 
which, like so many others, has become unintelligible to the 
"modern" on account of the buildings which now cover the 
ground. The old form of the name was " Rishotetes Grene," as it 
-appears in the will of Richard Howchenson, in 1500, and " Rushet 
•Green,"' in 1544, in the will of Isabella Fleming. In a rental of the 
Manor of Lewisham, temp. Edward II, Walter de Castello and 
William the Smith, atte Russchete, paid 5s. for land called 
Russcheteslond in Brodefeld. The name was subsequently 
shortened into " Rush Green," but the form " Rushy Green " is 
used in the 17th century. The greater part of the ground seems to 
have been marshy, with small water courses, and the name was no 
■doubt quite descriptive of the locality from the Pound to Catford, 
and some distance along the Bromley Road. 

In the i6th century there stood here "Rushy Green Place," 
the Lewisham seat of Roger Fitz, Esq., of Tavistock, but the 
exact site is unknown. His wife was the Isabella Fleming 
mentioned above, who was daughter of John Harvey, of Thurley, 
in Bedfordshire, by Annis, daughter of Sir John Paston. She had 



previously married John Leigh, of Addington, in Surrey, and after 
Roger Fitz's death, re-married William Hattecliflf, and lastly a 
Mr Flemyno-. The house must have been of some size, smce 
durine Mr. HatteclifTs lifetime he entertained Cardmal Campeggio 
on his way to London in 15.8. Isabella Fleming died m 1544, and 
in her will left 20s. towards mending the highway before her house 
at "Rushet Green." and amongst other things her kirtle ot 
"crymison satton," to make a vestment for the church, and her 
damask jacket of white and green to make an altar cloth. 

Plate 62. -The "Elm Tree" Inn, near the Polnd, High Street. 

The shops and houses from No. 17 Rushey Green to the 
Wesleyan Church, occupy the frontage of the estate known as 
'•Rosenthal," formerly the residence of Mr. Alexander Rowland, 
of Macassar Oil fame. The Wesleyan Church and the adjoining 
villas stand on the site of the house. The estate was sold about 
1888. when Davenport Road and Rosenthal Road ^vere to/m^d. 

The public footpath between the Wesleyan Church and the 
Pound formerly led over what were known as the Pound Fields, 
now covered in part by Farley Road. ... ... ,^^^ 

The Pound, one of the most ancient institutions of the place, 
still remains, but of late years beasts found straying ^ the 
Manor have seldom been incarcerated therein, bemg dealt with by 
the police, although four "Pound keepers and Common drners 
ar Annually chose^n at the Court Leet of the Manor The ground 
behind the Pound, on which Farley Road and part of Honle> Road 
^ built, still belongs to the Lord of the Manor. Beyond the Pound 
and bu It on a strip of land enclosed from the waste, was a small 



inn known as the " Elm Tree," and a few cottages. These were 
all removed when Honley Road was formed. 

From Honley Road to Brownhill Road is the site of "The 
Priory Farm," the house of which stood about midway between 
Ringstead Road arid Brownhill Road. A view of the house is 
given in Plate 63. The house is said to have occupied the site of 
the ancient Priory, and to have been built of the old material, but 

Plate 08. — "The Priory Farm" (now Nos. 113 to 133 Rlshey Green). 

there is some doubt as to the accuracy of this tradition, seeing that 
the ground is not part of the property of the Lord of the Manor, 
and was held of the Manor of Shroffolds. On the other hand, so 
much of the demesne lands have been alienated at various times, 
that it is quite possible this site may have been granted away during 
the period that the Manor was in the hands of the Crown in the 
i6th century. The farmhouse as shown in the engraving was of 
the latter part of the 17th century, and was partly surrounded by 
a moat, which is indicative of an ancient site. It was pulled down 
about 1877, and Ringstead Road (which runs through where the 
farm buildings and barns stood to the north of the house), and the 
Catford end of Brownhill Road, were formed on the farm lands in 
that year. Plassey, Bowness and Jutland Roads are built on a 
field known as " Hobley Field." 

A name which occurs in many documents of the i6th century 
is " Clangors." This is the hill to which Carswell Road leads, 
behind the Brownhill Road end of Laleham Road. 

From Brownhill Road to Sangley Road there have been houses 



for many years — several are shown as existing on the maps of 
1745, etc. The majority ol these were small cottages, interspersed 
with villas, but they have all been rebuilt of recent years. No. 127 
still remains (1908) as a specimen of the weather-boarded houses of 
the i8th century, but much altered. The public house known as 
the "Black Horse and Harrow," first appears in the Parish 
Registers for the year 1700, under the name of the " Harrow, 
Rushy Green," when it was held by one William Balthire. 

Turning to the western side of the High Road we have already 
traced its story as far as Bradgate Road. From this point to the 
turning to Catford Bridge the ground is shown in Rocque's map 
(1745) as unoccupied by buildings except a block opposite "The 

Plate 04.— The Lawn V'iew of "The Priorv," aboit 1835. 

Priory Farm." These were probably the old wooden cottages 
formerly standing at the corner of Willow Walk. The change in 
this part oi Rushey Green is due to the enclosure of the common 
lands in 1810, when the open part of the green (about 10 acres) 
was enclosed, the portion now occupied by the Fire Station, Town 
Hall, and Hatcliffe's Almshouses being allotted to the parish as 
compensation for loss of any common rights the parish, as such, 
claimed. The various cottages and shops now existing date from 
this time, but a considerable number have recently been rebuilt. 
The three houses at the corner of Holbeach Road (formerly "The 
Retreat"), known as James Place, were built in 1830. 



Catford, Perry Hill and Forest Hill. 

ATFORD is an ancient place name, which goes 
back in documents as far as the reign of Edward I, 
and is probably still older, as it was even then 
giving its name to a family of "de Cateforde." At 
what period the Abbot of Ghent alienated the lands 
round Catford is uncertain — it was certainly prior 
to the reign of Edward I — but in the 13th century. 
Sir John Abel, who belonged to the family of Abel, of Erith, owned 
a considerable property in the district, together with the family of 
De Castello. Nicholas de Castello, Clerk of the Exchequer, in 
1300 sold about 160 acres to Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham, and 
the Bishop seems to have also acquired the Abel's lands, so that 
at his death in 131 1, amongst his possessions were lands and rents 
at Catford and Romburgh, in Lewisham, for which he paid quit 
rent to the Abbot of Ghent of 23s. 4d. and a plough share at 

This property coming to the Crown on the Bishop's death, 
Edward HI, in 1331, granted Catford to Sir William de Montacute, 
as a reward for having apprehended Roger Mortimer, Earl of March. 
In the same year Sir William, and Katherine his wife, purchased 
about 400 acres of land in Lewisham, and these, together with the 
Manor of Catford, they bestowed in 1338 on the College of 
St. Lawrence Poultney, in London, and the College continued in 
possession until its suppression in 1548. In that year Catford was 
granted with other lands to Henry Polsted, of Chileworth, and 
William More, of Loseley, in Surrey, for ;^2,o34 14s. lod. Henry 
Polsted's son, Richard, dying without issue, the property came to 
Francis Polsted, his cousin, who in 1578 sold it to Brian Annesley, 
of Lee, another cousin, and from him it has descended to the 
Earl of St. Germans in the same manner as Brockley. Catford, 
historically, includes the St. Germans Estate at Hither Green {q.v.) 
and that in the Stanstead Road. 

The connection which lasted for more than 200 years between 
Catford and the College of St. Lawrence Poultney on Pountney 
Hill, in the City of London, is commemorated by the dedication of 
the church opposite the Town Hall, which was so named in honour 
of St. Lawrence. It was built in 1886. 

The building now known as the Town Hall was erected in 
1874 by the Lewisham District Board of Works for its offices. It 
is built on land which was the property of the parish, being a part 
of the Rushey Green, and cost ;^9,784. Considerable additions 
were made in 1900. It is intended to be in the Gothic style of the 
13th century, but the details are open to criticism. However, 
taken together with St. Laurence's Church and the new shops on 

CA TFORD. 141 

the eastern side of the road, the gfoup of buildings makes a 
dignified appearance as befits the civil centre of the Borough. 

The HatcliflFe Almshouses are so named from Mr. William 
Hatcliffe, of the Inner Temple and of Greenwich, who died in 1620, 
and left the income from certain property in Greenwich to be 
divided, one half to the poor of Greenwich, and the other half 
between Lee and Levvisham. The Lewisham portion of the income 
amounts to about ;^i7o a year. In 1857 a new scheme for its 
management was approved, and five of the almshouses were 
erected in that year, a sixth being built by subscription, which was 
endowed by Mr. Thomas Watson Parker. Two additional houses 
were added in 1S80. 

Between the almshouses and the river were two houses, one 
of which, formerly known as "Elmwood," is now the Catford 
Conservative Clubhouse — the original portion of which is of 
Georgian date. On the site of the other house are the shops in 
Catford Road, and Nelgarde Road and Doggett Road are partly 
built on tiie garden. 

All this portion of the parish — and doubtless all Rushey Green — 
was liable to inundation from the River Ravensbourne whenever 
there were heavy rains. This was especially the case in mediaeval 
times when the river was a stronger and deeper stream than it is 
at present, and there are several bequests in wills to making a 
causeway at Catford, z'c, one of those raised paths with stones 
laid on the top, which are to be seen in many country places, a 
reminder of the time when the roads were not so well cared for as 
they are nowadays. These bequests are of interest and may be 
recorded here : — 

"To the makyng of the nu waye betwene Syppenham and 
Leuesham Church." William Feyrewyn, 1494. 

" I gif to the causey at Catforde 6s. 8d." Thomas Gryme, 
husbondeman, 1529. 

"To the causey 4od." Denys Batt, alias Gryme, late the 
wyff of Thomas Batt, alias Gryme, 1529. 

"Towards y" makyng of a causey be twen Catford and Catford 
Brige 6s. 8d." Robert Rogers 1530. 

"To the causey at Catford Bridge Sd." Joone Jhonson, 1532. 

At Catford was one of the many mills on the Ravensbourne, 
probably one of the eleven recorded in Domesday, and known in 
the 13th and 14th centuries as Fordmill. It stood on the western 
side of the river, on the left hand side of the road going towards 
Catford Hill, but was removed a few years since (Plate 65). The 
roadway was considerably raised when the Mid-Kent Railway 
bridge was built. 

Beyond the bridge the road leads up the slope now called 
Catford Hill, towards Perry Hill and Sydenham, and the site of 
Place House — of these parts we shall have more to say later. At 
the foot of Catford Hill on the right is Stanstead Road, which is 



an old thoroughfare leading to Forest Hill. In the 17th century 
it was known as Stanyhurst Lane, from which Stanstead has 
obviously been derived. On Rocque's map (1745) it is curiously 
corrupted into Steucers Lane. It was then a country lane with no 
houses, and it was only during the latter half of the last century 
that buildings began to cover the fields, at first on the northern or 
right hand side on the property of the Earl of St. Germans, and 
later on the southern side. The Cranston, Kemble and Colfe 
Roads are built on part of the Colfe estates, on a field known as 
Great Ozey lands, purchased in 1655 by Mr. Colfe from Mr. George 
Edmund, who then owned the Manor of Sydenham. 

Stanstead Road seems to have formed the southern boundary 
of the Manor of Bankers, the eastern boundary of which to 

Plate 65. — Catford Bridge, aboct 1835. 

Lewisham Bridge was the River Ravensbourne. Bevond Kemble 
Road, the area of about 64 acres now covered by the parallelogram 
formed by Stanstead Road, Sunderland Road, Westbourne Road 
and Perry Vale, was anciently the great field of the Manor of 
Lewisham, called Pikethorne, being Lammas or half-year land. It 
is mentioned in the Rental of the reign of Edward II, and in more 
recent times in the Inclosure Award of 1810. 

At the entrance to Stanstead Road is St. Dunstan's College, 
the largest Secondary Public School for Boys in the neighbourhood. 
It owes its origin to the various bequests which had been made to 
the Parish of St. Dunstan-in-the-East, in the City of London. By 



a scheme settled by the Court of Chancery in 1867, and amended 
by another scheme in 1883, a large part of the income was allocated 
for educational purposes, and the College buildings were erected at 
a cost of ;^45,ooo, on land which had been part of the Charities' 
estates. The school was opened in 1888, accommodation being 
provided for 400 day boys and 40 boarders, with a headmaster's 
residence and several acres for playing fields. The boarding 
element was afterwards dropped and the College is now a day 
school only. The school is built on a field which was bequeathed 
to St. Dunstan's Parish in 1632 by Mirabelle Bennett. 

Standing back from the road at some distance, and near the 
junction of Catford Hill and Perry Hill, stood the large house 
known as Place House, which was accounted the Manor House of 

Plate (56.— Place Hoise, Catford, abolt iSio. 

Sydenham. A view of the remains of this house as they then 
existed, was published in 1791, a reproduction of which forms 
Plate 67. From the description which accompanied this print, it 
would appear that there was a local tradition that the house was 
built by Queen Elizabeth about the year 1580, and was presented 
by her to her favourite, the Earl of Essex, and that she frequently 
honoured him here with visits, on which occasions his wife, the 
Countess of Rutland, was concealed in a secret chamber, the only 
entrance to which was by a false door from the wainscot of the 
Earl's study, covered by a full length portrait of the Queen. The 
apartment was still in 1791 known as the Countess's Room. 



In one of the windows were the following lines cut with a 
diamond : — 

Long-US et invito pectore sedit amor. 
And long has love possess'd my breast in 
defiance of all m}' resolution. 
Synce my Love seseth shyning 
All my Hopes are in declyning 
Sj-nce my day h\ night is banyst 
All my joy* are fled and vanjsl 
Beware I say'd of Lady Wife 
Foresee the end before the fall 
Thrice happy is the man and bleast 
Who warned is b}' others thrall. 


Plate (i7.— Place Holse, Catford, 1791. 

The lines were of coiirse assigned to the Queen, and indicated 
the strength of her resentment at his deception. 

How much truth there is in the story it is now almost im- 
possible to say. Early in the reign of James I the property was 
in the possession of the Edmonds family, and in 1641 it came to 
George, Abraham, and Robert Edmonds as coheirs in gavelkind. 
Robert sold his portion to his brothers, and the estate and house 
were divided between them. The house was inconveniently divided, 
rooms belonging to one share being over those belonging to 
another. That portion which belonged to Abraham Edmonds was 
finally purchased in 1765 by Mr. Richard Brooke, and is that 
shown in the picture. The other part was purchased by Mr.- 
Jonathan Sabin, and was pulled down. 


Mr. Brooke, who was concerned in the India trade, fitted up 
two rooms in the Chinese style, with large screens decorated with 
grotesque figures, forming a curious combination of Eastern finery 
with Elizabethan wainscot. 

This part of the house in 1810 became the property of Mr. 
John Forster, of Southend, and was pulled down (Plate 66). Not 
a vestige now remains, and the site is covered by Creeland Grove. 

T^e ngmg Perry, i.e., the place where the pear trees grow, is 
found in very many parishes in the South of England. Here, in 
Lewisham, it is of early date, occurring in a rental of the manor of 
the time of Edward II, in which it is recorded that amongst the pay- 
ments made by Sir John Abel was i4d. for land he had bought of 
Gerard atte Pirie. In 1473 Cicely Lamkyn mentions her house 
and gardens in "Perystrete," and in the Parish Registers of the 
18th century there is evidence of two hamlets, one called " Perry 
Street"' (now Perry Hill), the other known as "Perry Slough" 
(now Perry Vale), which latter was apparently marshy ground on 
the confines of the forest. 

From the maps of the iSth century it may be gathered that 
the roadways — perhaps trackways would be a more appropriate 
description — in this part of the parish were Stanyhurst (Stanstead) 
Lane on the north, a lane now Vancouver Road, with a connecting 
lane now Blyth Vale, but marked on the Ordnance Maps of 1870 
as " Stoney Street"; a lane now Woolstone Road, which Mr. 
Colfe, in his will dated 1657, calls "Green Lane," which led to 
Perry Slough ; Perry Street Hill (now Perry Hill), and a lane now 
called Perry Rise, which in Rocque's Map of 1745 is marked as 
"Glover's Lane." These last led down to Sydenham or Bell Green, 
a piece of open common, enclosed in 1810, and now covered by 
the houses near the gas-works. 

Commencing at the Catford end of Perry Hill, on the eastern 
side, the houses are of various dates within the last thirty or forty 
years as far as Castlands Road. This road is an ancient right-of- 
way leading across the river to Castle-lands, part of Broadmead, 
one of the great fields of the manor. At the corner of Castlands 
Road is Orchard House, on a small estate, shown on plans of 1723 
as then belonging to Thomas Dyer, Esq. Beyond this, as far as 
the foot of the hill, is the estate of the Leathersellers' Company, 
anciently known as " Brongers," probably from Walter Bronger, 
who held land here in the time of Henry VII. The old house, 
"Brongers," has recently been pulled down, but the farmhouse, 
now known as Perrj' Hill Farm, still maintains the appearance 
of a small i8th century homestead. In 1723 it was known as 
Clowders Farm. The house now styled "Clare Lodge" had not 
then been built, the site being styled on plans as "The New 
Orchard," but it must have been erected shortly afterwards. The 
fields stretching down the hill were known as "Tanner's" and 
" Annable's" respectively, the latter being that next the road, whilst 
the land between them and the river was stvled "Rowland's." 



On the western side of the road, and opposite " Annable's," is 
a field, also belonging to the Leathersellers, called " Priestfield," 
which, in the 15th century, belonged to the Walter Bronger above 
mentioned. Stretching up the slope are the grounds of the house 
now named The Manor House. In a view published in 1838, and 
reproduced in Plate 68, it is called Perry Hill House. The house 
appears to be of early Georgian date with later additions. In 1723 
the estate belonged to Mr. Richard Brooke, and in the early part 
of the 19th century the house was the residence of the Rev. P. A. 
French, m.a. , of Sydenham. It now belongs to A. W. Marriott, 

Plate 68.— Perry Hill IIolse (Manor House), 1838. 

The house latterly known as Perry Hill House came next to 
The Manor House. It was pulled down about tgoo, and a row of 
small villas erected on the site. The footpath, which here runs to 
Woolston Road, is an old right-of-way leading by the side of 
two meadows known as Upper and Lower Hawkes, now nursery 
ground. They belong to the Leathersellers' Company. The ground 
next to this footway is marked in plans of 1723 as "The White 
Hart." This may possibly be the old house still standing thereon, 
now called Ratcliffe Cottage. Another old house near the foot- 
path, in which Charles Mackay is said to have lived, has been 
pulled down. Next to Ratcliflfe Cottage is " Ivy Wall," an old 


house much added to; and beyond this was another house, now 
removed, which was once the residence of the father of Professor 
W. W. Skeat. 

An 1 8th century house opposite Castlands Road has been an 
inn, with the sign of the "Two Brewers," for many years. It 
occurs in the Parish Registers of 1807. The cottages which occupy 
the slope of the hill are built on ground formerly known as 
" Beechfield," the property of the Leathersellers' Company. A few 
older cottages at the bottom of the hill were formerly known as 
Sabin's Cottages, from the owner of part of Place House. The 
new shops at the corner of Woolston Road are built on a field 
known in 1723 as "Herbert's Croft." St. George's Church was 
built in 1880, at the sole cost of Mr. George Parker, of Lewisham 

At Perry Slough (Perry Vale), in 1802, died the unfortunate 
Irish poet, Thomas Dermody. His tomb may be seen in the centre 
of the river portion of St. Mary's Churchyard. 

On Rocque's Map, 1745, the land under cultivation is shown 
as extending as far as Perry Slough (Perry Vale) and near where 
Dacres Road now runs. All beyond this was wild open forest, 
and had been so from time immemorial, hardly a house existing 
west of a line represented by the railway. A country track from 
Perry Slough led over " Crow Green," which occupied about the 
position of Forest Hill Railway Station, and westwards over the 
hills to Duhvich. This is represented to-day by the London Road. 

The district was known from early times simply as "The 
Forest," and those who dwelt there were styled, "John atte 
Forest," "William atte Forest," etc. In the Rental of the Manor 
of Lewisham, about 1320, Adam and Robert atte Forest are shown 
as paying 3jd. for their tenement, which formerly belonged to one 
Martin Syward, and they further paid 3s. for land "at the Forest." 
They were probably free tenants holding small farms on the out- 
skirts of the manor. The name. Forest Hill, does not occur in the 
Parish Registers until the year 1797, which is further evidence of 
the paucity of inhabitants. 

The Enclosure Act of 1810 made a considerable difference to 
this part of the parish. The forest land, then mostly scrub, was 
allotted to the various freeholders of the manor, and enclosed ; 
roads were speedily made and building began, but it was the 
coming of the railway which contributed most to the change. The 
commencement of this enterprise, however, was the Croydon Canal, 
which was projected in 1800, and opened in 1809. This started at 
New Cross and passed through Brockley, Honor Oak, Forest Hill, 
Sydenham, and thence through Norwood to Selhurst and Croydon. 
The rise through Forest Hill necessitated some twenty-five locks, 
and reservoirs were formed at Sydenham and Norwood. 

After a precarious existence of twenty-seven years, the canal 
was closed in 1836, having been purchased for ;^40,ooo by the 
Croydon and London Railway, which was laid for the most part 


along its course. Portions of the canal remained as late as 1870 at 
the rear of the houses on the western side of Devonshire Road, 
and east of the line near where Dacres Road now runs. 

The new Croydon line, which was thus opened in 1839, joined 
the Greenwich railway (which had been opened in 1836) at Corbett's 
lane. There were stations at "Dartmouth Arms" (now Forest 
Hill) and at Sydenham, Penge, etc. From 1845 to 1847 the rail- 
way was worked by atmospheric pressure, an iron tube being laid 
between the rails, and the air pumped out, when the pressure drove 
a piston connected with the carriages forward. The system proved 
a failure, and was discontinued in 1847. 


ROCEEDING along London Road to the summit 
of the hill, we come to the boundary between Kent 
and Surrey, on the further side of which lies the 
Horniman Museum and Park. The boundary of 
the old Parish of Lewisham passed along the 
western side of Eliot Bank and Sydenham Hill 
to the gates of the Crystal Palace ; the modern 
boundary of the borough is Wood Vale and Sydenham Hill. 

The name Sydenham was formerly Sippenham or Cypenham, 
and as such occurs down to the middle of the i8th century, after 
which the modern form gradually came into use. The greater part 
of the district, now known as Upper Sydenham, was open common 
land called Westwood, a name which is at least as old as the time 
of Edward I. Although styled a "manor" in later documents, it 
is doubtful if the term was strictly applicable to Sydenham, for the 
whole of Westwood was esteemed part of the common land of the 
Manor of Lewisham. Many free tenants of the manor, however, 
held small portions of land in " Sypenham," according to the 
Rental temp. Edward II, and there seems to have been a fringe 
of cottages and other houses along the Sydenham Road, from Bell 
Green to Peak Hill, from very early times. 

In 1442 Sir John Welles, Grocer and Alderman of the City of 
London, left his " manor of Sippenham in the parish of Leuesham 
in Kent to be sold for pious and charitable uses, saving an annuity 
of 40s. to William Osborn." ("Husting's Wills.") 

In the reign of Henry VII, Robert Cheseman, a member of an 
old Lewisham family, possessed the "Manor" of Syppenham, and 
had also a lease of the Manor of Lewisham from the Prior of 
Shene. In his will, dated 1498, he left Syppenham and Perystreet 
to his wife for her life, with remainder to John Cheseman, his son. 



The latter's daughter and heir, Joan, married William Ford, and 
they sold the manor to Richard Howlet, of Lewisham, whose 
daughter, Rachel, became possessed of it under his will, dated 
8th September, 1560. At his death an inquisition was held, which 
declared all his lands in Sypenham to be gavelkind lands. Rachel 
Howlet married Robert Edmonds, and on her death in 1609 the 
property came to her three sons, George, Robert, and Abraham, 
as coheirs in gavelkind. Portions of the estate were sold at 
various periods. Some of the lands were purchased by the Rev. 
Abraham Colfe to endow the Grammar School. The fate of the 
manor house, known as Place House, has been already narrated 
(page 144). The whole of the property was probably situated more 
round Perystreet than in the district we now know as Sydenham. 
At this period Westwood (now Upper Sydenham) was well 
wooded, and an order of Queen Elizabeth, dated 28th October,. 

Plate 69. — The Dwelling of Alexander Roberts at Sydenham Wells. 

1559, reserved the wood for shipbuilding. Sydenham may there- 
fore claim a share in the glories of the British Navy of that 
stirring petiod. 

In the middle of the 17th century the solitudes of Upper 
Sydenham were broken by the discovery of the medicinal character 
of the springs, which gushed forth in the hollow now occupied by 
Wells Park. Our knowledge respecting these springs is principally 
derived from a treatise on them by John Peter, physician, printed 
in 1681. From his account it would appear that in the year 1648 
a poor woman, suffering from disease, was cured by the waters, 
which thereupon became famous. Previous to this date the 
inhabitants had noticed that the water which trickled down the 
hillside was frequented by multitudes of pigeons. Wells were sub- 


sequently dug and built round, and the water was delivered gratis 
to any who desired. 

In 1651 the numbers who flocked to drink the waters excited 
the suspicion of the Commonwealth Government, and a declaration 
was published "to all that come to drink the waters at Lewisham 
to behave themselves peaceably at their utmost peril," a party of 
horse being ordered to attend to prevent tumult. Dr. Peter, in 
his treatise, complains of the rabble of Londoners and others 
weekly frequenting the vvells on Sundays, and not content with the 
natural water, proceeded to drink upon it "an excess quantity of 
brandy or other strong liquors, thereby many of them becoming 
greatly prejudiced in their health (to add to their folly and crime) 
have not been ashamed to impute their indisposition to this water." 

The wells continued to exist down to the inclosure of West- 
wood Common, but ceased to be regarded with favour as a 
fashionable resort. 

Rocque's Map of 1745 shows Sydenham as a fringe of cottages 
and houses along the road from Sydenham Green (now Bell Green) 
to Pigg Hill (now Peak Hill). From this latter point was West- 
wood Common, a roadway across which followed the lines of the 
present Kirkdale and Sydenham Hill Road, another roadway 
followed the lines of the present West Hill, whilst a third existed 
on the site of the road now known as Sydenham Hill. The wells 
lay in the bottom now occupied by Wells Park, the slopes to the 
north, now occupied by St. Mary's Oratory, being shown as 
" Hutton Comb Hill," continuing northwards into " Hambrick 

The Act of 1810 authorised the enclosure of the whole of this 
open common and its division amongst the freeholders of the 
manor who had common rights. A very large part has now been 
built over, but most opportunely the Lewisham District Board of 
Works urged the London County Council to purchase the site of 
the wells, and nearly eighteen acres were acquired at a cost of 
j^7,2io, of which Lewisham contributed half. The grounds cost 
another ;^'5,ooo to lay out, and were opened on Whit-Monday, 1901. 

The site of at least one of the wells (there were about twelve 
of them) is marked by the font in St. Philip's Church. Even now, 
in spite of the surrounding houses, one can form some idea of the 
picturesqueness of the place in its wild state. The views from 
West Hill across the Wells Park, with the groups of fir trees in 
the grounds of the Oratory, and along the crest of the hills above 
Upper Sydenham Station, form a pleasing memento of the old 
common, and it is to be hoped that private owners will combine 
with the local authorities to preserve the appearance of the district 
as much as possible. 

At the top of West Hill are the gates of the Crystal Palace 
grounds, which, however, lie entirely outside the borough. 

St. Bartholomew's Church, which stands on the lower slope of 
West Hill, is interesting as the church of the first ecclesiastical 



district to be created within the ancient civil Parish of Lewisham. 
It was built in i8-,2, and enlarged in 1858. 

Descending West Hill we come to the ground west ot 
Sydenham Station, known in the 18th and early 19th century as 
Pio-cr Hill, which has now been softened into Peak Hill. The name 
remTnds us of the early custom of turning the swine into the forest 
to feed on the acorns and beech mast, the toll tor which here was 
so ho'^s paid yearly to the Lord of the Manor, as noted in 
Domesday. Sydenham Park occupies the site of the large 
reservoir which was formed to feed the Croydon Canal from 1809 

to l8'56. ^ , , n J u 4. 

There are still a few old houses left in Sydenham Road, but 

Plate 70.— The 

'Greyhound" Inn, Sydenham, with the Canal, 

IN 1818. 

they are rapidly disappearing. The " Dolphin Inn near Mayow 
Road, is mentioned in the Parish Registers for ist July, 1/33., when 
" Stephen son of. Richard Peke from Sipenham, y' Dolphin, was 
buried, whilst on the southern side of the road is another old 
hostelry, the "Golden Lion," from which one, John Robinson, was 
buried'on the 24th May, 1746. The "Greyhound" I""- .^t Peak 
Hill, is also an old house. A pencil sketch of it in 1810 is in the 
British Museum. (Add. MS. 32.^66, fol. 233)- (P'^t^^ 7o). 

The site of Christ Church is marked in Rocque s map (i/4o) 
as "Dissenters' Meeting." The house of Alexander Lindsay, of 
Sydenham Causewav, had been licensed in 1707 by Bishop Sprat 
for the use of Presbyterians, being the first recognised place of 



worship in the parish for those who had separated from the Church 
of England. A chapel was afterwards erected on this site about 
1760, of which Dr. John Williams, author of a concordance of the 
Greek Testament, an enquiry concerning the discovery of America, 
and other works, was minister from 1767 to 1794. It was then 
leased to Hugh French, Esq., m.d. , who converted it into a chapel- 
of-ease to the Parish Church, his son, the Rev. Pinkstan Arundel 
French, being incumbent for many years. 

The house now occupied by Lady Grove, widow of Sir George 
Grove, is one of the few remaining i8th century houses of the dis- 
trict, and a good specimen of a weather-boarded house of its date. 

The Free Library, which was built in 1904, stands at the 
corner of Home Park, one of the open spaces provided by the 

Plate 71.— \ii:vv on the Svue.nham Ca.nal. 

Lewisham Borough Council. The park, 8 acres in extent, was 
acquired in 1901, part of the purchase money being provided by the 
County Council. It is formed out of a portion of the grounds of a 
house known as Home Park Lodge. 

The ground between Sydenham Road aad Perry Vale remained 
farm land down to about 1870, and has been opened up for building 
at various dates during the last 25 and 30 years. In the Mayow 
Road, which practically bisects it, is the .Sydenham and Forest Hill 
Recreation Ground, an open space of 17^ acres, acquired and 
maintained by the Lewisham Borough Council, which contains 
several fine old trees. The house and grounds of Mr. Mayow 
Adams occupied the site of Earlsthorpe Road and adjacent roads, 


whilst in front of the house where the shops in Sydenham Road 
now stand was a pleasant green. The house was an old one, 
dating from about 1660, but modernized. In 1723 the land here- 
abouts belonged to Mr. Edward Hodsdon, but towards the end of 
the century it had passed to Major Mayow Wynell Mayow. 

On the maps of the i8th century the part now known as Bell 
Green is marked as "Sydenham Green," and shown as an open 
space. The name "Bell Green" appears in the Parish Registers at 
the end of the i8th century, but its origin is uncertain. The 
tradition that there was a bell tower here to give notice of visitors 
to Place House is absurdly fanciful. The opening of the Crystal 
Palace Gas Works revolutionized the neighbourhood, bringing 
in their train not only the gas-holders and other buildings of the 
industry, but many streets of houses of the working classes. It 
is in fact the manufacturing district of the Borough. 

The Pool River, which joins the Ravensbourne midway 
between this spot and Catford, is here crossed by a bridge leading 
into Southend Lane. An old bridge known as "Kengley Bridge," a 
little lower down the stream, is now in the grounds of the Gas 
Works. In Southend Lane, on the northern side, is Firhill House, 
which, with the land around, is part of the educational endowments 
administered by the Leathersellers' Company. A portion known as 
" Riddlesdown," containing 15 acres, was purchased by the Rev. 
Abraham Colfe in 1631. 

The lane leads into Southend, the remaining hamlet within 
the parish, which still retains much of the appearance of a country 
village, with its mill pond and wooded slopes. 

Sanglev, Bellingham and Solthend. 

N STEAD of entering Southend from Lower 
Sydenham, it will be more convenient to retrace 
our steps to the Town Hall, and proceed by way 
of the Bromley Road. On the right hand, or 
eastern side of the road, is Sangley, anciently 
— ^-^ — ^ , known as Sanguinel or Sanguels, an old home- 
stead. The name occurs in the Court Rolls of the time of 
Edward II. In 1495, '" ^^^ ^^''^^ ^^ Thomas Causton, of Becken- 
ham, he leaves his land called Sanguells, in Lewisham, to his 
son William, and in 1545, there is the will of Stephen Batt, of 
"Sangues." In 1627 occurs the burial of Thomas Coomes, of 
Sanguels Farm. The name seems to have been changed to Sangley 
early in the 19th century. Part of the old house of timber remained 
until a few years ago, when it was rebuilt, but the old kitchens 


still exist. The farm lands are now being built over. The road 
now known as Sangley Road was formerly styled Cockshed Lane, 
and led to a farm of that name, which may possibly have been a 
modern form of Crokestede, which occurs in mediaeval documents 
as a place name in the parish. 

Beyond Sangley, and still on the eastern side of the road, is 
another farm known as White House, which is shown on 
Rocque's map of 1745. 

All this portion of the Borough on either side of the road forms 
the old Manor of Bellingham. At what period it was alienated by 
the Abbot of Ghent is unknown, but it became part of the 
possessions of the Cistercian Monastery of Stratford Langthorne, 
at West Ham, Essex, founded in 1134 by William de Montfichet. 
It was confirmed to them by Henry II, and in an award dated 1218 
concerning tithes, it is stated to consist of two hides. At the 
dissolution it came to the Crown, and was granted in 1554 to 
Richard Whetely, whose grandson sold it to John Leigh, and he in 
1598 sold it to James Altham. From him it descended to Charles 
Tryon, who in 1724 sold it to Thomas Invven, whose only daughter, 
Sarah (Lady Falkland), having no children, bequeathed it to Mr. 
Francis Motley Austen, of Sevenoaks. The Austens exchanged 
Bellingham for other property with the Forsters. The old Manor 
House was largely rebuilt early in the 19th century by Mr. Robert 
Saunders, and is now styled Park House. The old Manor Farm 
still exists by the banks of the Ravensbourne, and is probably as 
old as the early part of the 17th century. 

Whitefoot Lane leading to Shroffold Farm and Hither Green 
is not shown on Rocque's map of 1745, and is presumably of later 
date. The name, which seems to be derived from a belt of wood- 
land known as Whitefoot Shaw, first occurs towards the end of 
the iSth century. 

At the corner of Whitefoot Lane is "The Hall," one of the 
residences of H. W. Forster, Esq., m.p., who is the largest land- 
owner in the Borough, holding over 1,000 acres. 

The houses in Southend Village are now nearly all modern, 
but they stand on old sites. The " Tiger's Head " was anciently 
known as Randall's House. It was the residence of the How's, 
who worked the mill hard by. Subsequently it was tenanted by 
Mr. Richard Chillingworth, who appears to have turned it into an 
inn. It was a house of early iSth century date, but has recently 
been rebuilt. Neither it nor the " Green Man " appear in the 
Parish Registers, but a "King's Arms, Southend," is mentioned in 
1739, and the "George, Southend," occurs frequently from 1713 
onwards. The "King's Arms " was the old red brick house in the 
High Road near Bellingham Farm. 

The Ravensbourne enters the Borough of Lewisham a little to 
the south of Southend, in the grounds of Bromley Hill House. In 
deeds of the reign of Henry VII it is styled the " Randisbourne." 
At Southend there are two mills, now both corn mills, but that in 



the village was rendered famous as a cutlery mill in the 
i8th century, by John and Ephraim How. The former died in 
1736, and is buried in Lewisham Churchyard, near the tower. His 
tomb states that "the art of cutlery was improv'd and carry 'd on to 
the greatest perfection " by the above-named father and son. 

The road from Southend to Beckenham passes round the end 
of the mill pond, and here was a small green until the enclosure of 
1810. The roadway ascends gently to the boundary between 
Lewisham and Beckenham. The hill is still known as Stumps 
Hill, one of the oldest place names in the Borough, for under the 
form of Stumbleshill we find it in the Court Rolls as early as the 
time of Edward I. Beckenham Place House is just within the 
Parish of Beckenham, but a portion of the park is in Lewisham. 

Plate 72.— View .\t Solthend, 1770. 

This property was acquired from Viscount Bolingbroke in 1773 by 
John Cator, Esq., who rebuilt the house and made many improve- 
ments in the grounds, including the alteration of the High Road to 
its present position from that of the Avenue within the park, which 
is the old site. 

At the junction of Beckenham Lane with the Bromley Road is 
Flower Hall, formerly known as Elm Cottage. About 1750 it was 
bought by Mr. Francis Flower, after whom it has been named. It 
subsequently became part of the Forster estates, and was the 
residence of Captain Henry Forster, k.a. The house, which was 
of considerable age, was practically rebuilt and much enlarged 
about 40 years since. 

Along the road to Bromley, nearly opposite the second mill, 
was the residence of Mr. John Knapp, shown on Rocque's map 


(1745), which was pulled down many years ago. Nearer Bromley 
is Holloway Farm, on the property of the Earl of Northbrook. 
The farmhouse is now on the eastern side of the road, but was 
formerly on the western side, a portion of the old house forming 
part of the gate house of Bromley Hill Place. The farm was held 
for nearly 200 years by the Valentine family, members of which 
occupied many parochial offices and entered largely into the life of 
the place. 

A large part of Bromley Hill Place, including the house, is in 
the Borough of Lewisham. It was the seat of the Rt. Hon. Sir 
Charles Long, g.c.b. , who was created Baron Farnborough in 
1826. He added much to the house and improved the grounds, 
and there entertained George IV, William IV, and Queen Adelaide. 
The estate is now being opened up for building. 

All this portion of the Borough is in the Manor of Shroffolds, 
which commences at the "Tiger's Head," in Southend, takes in 
part of Beckenham Place, Bromley Hill Place, part of Plaistow, and 
the lands of Shroffold and Holloway Farms, which are the property 
of the Earl of Xorthbrook, as Lord of the Manor. 

Here, at the top of Bromley Hill, we take our leave of the 
Borough of Lewisham, tired it may be by the length of our journey, 
but interested, let us hope, in the story of its past and of its growth. 
The rush of modern life has left us but few relics of bygone days, 
but the preceding pages will have shown, however imperfectly, that 
beneath the dull monotony of modern streets and villas, almost 
every foot of ground has its own story, which is intertwined with 
that of the Borough of which it is a part. 

©ur Xocal autborities. 

By A. \^. Hiscox, 
Sometime Mayor of the Borough. 

HE man in the street is generally supposed to have 
an opinion about most things, and he usually 
believes he could govern far better than any 
persons in office, from Town Councillor up to 
Prime Minister. Yet, how few people can give 
a fair idea of the organization for governing the 
town they live in, or, if they do know in general terms what 
governing bodies rule in the locality, can describe how they came 
to take their presexit-day form, and why. 

Unless local government is to be more and more officialized, 
the old English idea of self-government will have to be widely 
revived in practice. That is to say the people themselves, as a 
whole, not only a small section, must learn what takes place 
under the powers that be, and they must then express their own 
views, as occasion demands, on the methods and the work done 
by thoj:e in authority for the community, which is represented by 

Local government in Lewisham, as in other parts of London, 
has been in the hands of so many different bodies, that probably 
few people in the past cared to spend the necessary time to find 
out what they were and what were their functions. Though some- 
what simplified in recent years, the task is still no easy one, and 
the authorities controlling Lewisham, and supplying its needs 
municipally, are more numerous than most people suspect. 

Imagine a visitor entering our Borough by tram from London. 
Coming into Lewisham, via Loampit Hill, and travelling along the 
High Street or High Road, Lee, the rider benefits by the provision 
of electric transit made by the County Council, while the streets he 
passes through are paved, cleaned and lighted by the Borough 
Council. If he goes along the High Street he sees a Public 
Library, with lending department, reading rooms, etc., maintained 
by the Borough Council, and, further on, a big institution, which 
inhabitants as a rule avoid, and which, under the name of Work- 
house, supplies a home to some hundreds of men and women 
unable to support themselves. The latter is controlled by the L'nion 
Guardians, as is also the next large building, the well-known, 


excellent Infirmary, which for want of a general hospital anywhere 
near, often opens its doors to accident cases and gives surgical 

Up the hill, on the other hand, a glimpse is had through the 
side roads of another huge building, a home of the healing art, 
where infectious cases, such as scarlet fever, diphtheria, etc., are 
dealt with. This Hospital is controlled by a centralized authority, 
viz., the Metropolitan Asylums Board. 

He will find that the streets are patrolled by police, who are 
not under either of the above authorities, while the water supply 
is managed by the newly-constituted Metropolitan Water Board. 
The parks and open spaces are most of them maintained by the 
London County Council, but some by the Borough Council, and 
the schools, as perhaps everybody knows, are now in the hands of 
the County Council. 

A stranger to London government would naturally ask how 
it is that there are so many authorities working, to a large extent, 
over the same area, but not related to one another, or under any 
organized control. 

A Century Ago. 

Going back a century we find that Lewisham, though a large 
parish in acreage, was inhabited in 1801 by only 4,007 persons, 
who lived in 686 houses. It covered 5,774 acres, with a circum- 
ference of 16 to 17 miles, and it was entirely severed from London 
by stretches of country very sparsely inhabited. Its government 
was of a simple kind, which had taken its rise, nobody knows how, 
like that of most country places. There was a Vestry, that is to 
saj', an assembly of the whole parish, which met in the vestry or 
other accessible place ; there were Justices of the Peace of the 
County having jurisdiction in this area, who, amongst other 
powers, appointed the Overseers ; and there was the Lord of the 
Manor, possessing considerable manorial rights, who presided 
over the Court Leet. All the work of local government was 
done by these three authorities. Broadly one may say that the 
poor were provided for by the Overseers ; the management of the 
land and the business of the parish were conducted by the Lord of 
the Manor and the Court Leet, who also administered justice in 
minor matters; and the Justices of the Peace, who appointed the 
Overseers, were administrators of justice in the area, and had 
considerable powers of control as well. The Justices of the Peace, 
for instance, suppressed the Sydenham Fair in 1766, declaring it to 
be a public nuisance. 

The Court Leet still retains many of its old powers, though it 
seldom exercises them, for while it even now has authority to fine 
persons for certain light offences, the amount being limited to one 
penny or some such trifling sum, it would not be worth while to 
collect it. The Pound, still to be seen in the main road, and now 
seldom used, is controlled by the Lord of the Manor. 


In 1814 an Act of George III, gave authority to the Vestry to 
appoint persons with power to assess and collect money for the 
relief of the poor. In addition to the elected members were the 
Churchwardens and Overseers ex-oficio, and this body went by 
the name of the Guardians of the Parish. This was the authority 
for making assessments of properties in the parish and for collecting 
rates, and was only abolished when its powers were transferred to 
the Borough Council in 1900. The preamble of the Act of 1814 
commences, " Whereas the poor within the Parish of Levvisham in 
the County of Kent are very numerous, and are maintained and 
supported at a great expense," and then goes on to relate how the 
new body will have power to take over the Poorhouse, or Work- 
house, which was then in a decayed state, and not sufficient in 
size, for the purpose of enlarging or rebuilding it. 

The Union Guardians. 

This state of things continued until the appointment of the 
Union Guardians, under the Act of 1834. Since the commence- 
ment of the century the number of inhabited houses in the parish 
had nearly trebled, and the population was about 10,000, but the 
rapid increase of later years had not commenced. Throughout the 
country the cost of the Poor Law work was so great, and so many 
abuses existed, that, under the Poor Law Amendment Act, the 
Poor Law Commissioners (now, after further changes, known as 
the Local Government Board) were empowered to unite certain 
parishes to form a "Union," for the administration of the Laws for 
the Relief of the Poor. In this way in 1836 seven parishes were 
united, of which Lewisham was one, to form Lewisham Union, and 
a Union Workhouse was afterwards built. Only Lewisham, Lee, 
and Eltham are now left in the Union, which still is the second 
largest of the Metropolitan L^nions, and contains 10,795 acres. 
The Guardians of the Poor of the Lewisham Union were constituted 
under the above-named Act, and practically remain the same now, 
except that the number of members has been increased from time 
to time. The number of Guardians now is twenty-nine, all ot 
whom are directly elected, no ex-officio Guardians having been 
appointed since 1894. 

They are elected by the various wards of the Union as follows : 
Church Ward (Lee), two ; Manor Ward (Lee), one ; South Ward 
(Lee), one ; Blackheath Ward, two ; Lewisham Village Ward, 
three ; Lewisham Park Ward, two ; Brockley Ward, two ; Catford 
Ward, five ; Forest Hill Ward, four ; Sydenham Ward, five ; 
Parish of Eltham, two. 

The work of the Union Guardians involves a large expenditure 
of public money, and is in every way most important to the com- 
munity. It is not only a large concern, looked at from a business 
point of view, but the methods adopted may have a very con- 
siderable influence for good or evil. The number of Statutes 


affecting the Guardians' work amounts to between four and five 
hundred, starting from the time of Queen Elizabeth, so that 
members must very largely look to officials for guidance on 
technical points. 

The work done by the Guardians includes all that relates to 
the relief of the poor, either in establishments built for their recep- 
tion or by means of out-relief; the removal of lunatics; the 
maintenance of schools and homes for the children of the poor ; 
maintenance and schooling of the blind, deaf and dumb of poor 
parents; giving assistance to poor persons emigrating; apprentice- 
ship of poor children ; the provision of a register office for births 
and deaths ; appointment of vaccination officer. About thirty or 
forty institutions have cases sent to them by the Lewisham Union. 
In addition to the many Statutes already mentioned, the Guardians 
have to work under the orders of the Local Government Board, 
which are equivalent to law, and of which there are about 120 in 
force at the present time. 

Le-voisham Workhouse, including the Lunatic Wards, is now 
certified to hold 641, the original premises having been purchased 
from the Local Guardians in 1880 for £,'],^oo, to which additional 
lands were soon after added at a cost of ;;^i 5,000, and new 
buildings and fittings for ;^45,96o. New Casual Wards have also 
been added at a cost of over ;^4,ooo. 

The Infirmary is a modern one, built in 1894, and is of the 
best of its kind, both in regard to the building itself and its equip- 
ment. The total loans incurred for land, building and fittings 
amount to ;^68,300. From the first the Infirmary has been a 
very efficient and much-appreciated institution. There being no 
general hospital in the Borough, accident cases, and cases requiring 
surgical skill, are often taken there in addition to the sick from the 
Workhouse. A separate building for the temporary accommoda- 
tion of the insane was added in 1899, at a loan expenditure 
of ;^3,7oo. There is room for 401 inmates in the Infirmary, in- 
cluding the insane. 

Besides the two large institutions just referred to, the 
Guardians are part owners in the Residential Schools at Anerley, 
and the grounds attached thereto, the other partners being the 
Guardians of the Wandsworth Union. Lewisham had during 
1906-7 a weekly average of 173 children in these schools, and as 
long as the partnership lasts, Lewisham ratepayers must pay their 
share of the upkeep. Recently some " scattered homes " in rented 
houses have been tried. Opinion is divided as to their success, 
and as the Guardians were opposed to the extra cost, while they 
were still paying for places at Anerley, the "homes" have been 
closed. The annual cost per head of the children at Anerley, 
belonging to Lewisham, is ;^32 12s. lod. 

In connection with the Guardians' expenditure it should be 
remembered that there is a Common Poor Fund, to which all parts 
of London contribute, and certain matters of local expenditure are 


borne by it. Thus, the poorer neighbourhoods benefit by the larger 
contributions of the richer. The amount paid by the Lewisham 
Guardians to the fund for the year ended March, 1907, amounted 
to ;£'8,537. On the other hand the Guardians g'et back from the 
fund a much larger amount. 

The Local Government Board. 

No one can have anything to do with Poor Law Work, or read 
about Guardians' Work, without hearing of the Local Government 
Board. The work of this body is an instance oi government by 
officials, more after the style of some continental methods in 
comparison with our usual lack of central control and freedom from 
officialism. By the Act of 1834, Poor Law Commissioners were 
appointed for the central control of the relief of the poor, and they 
were empowered to issue general orders and regulations. Some 
years later, with added powers, they were reconstituted the Poor 
Law Board, and in 1871 were re-organised into the Local 
Government Board, with supervision of other local matters added 
to their Poor Law Work. The President is a Minister of Cabinet 
rank, and one of the Secretaries must have a seat in Parliament. 
The Board has a large staff, including Secretaries, General 
Inspectors, Medical Inspectors, District Auditors, Solicitors, 
Architects, Surveyors, Analysts, Clerks, &c. 

The orders of the Board are as binding as Acts of Parliament, 
and, as has been before pointed out, are very numerous. Though 
they do not meet in our midst, their influence is felt, and no large 
capital expenditure can be made without the Guardians first 
obtaining their consent, while thej' have a voice in the appointment 
and dismissal of the chief officers of the Workhouse and Infirmary, 
and in fixing the amount of their salaries. They also make 
recommendations to the Guardians, if occasion arises, as to the 
carrying out of their work, even to the extent of insisting upon 
additional accommodation being built. 

Metropolitan Asvllms Board. 

The Metropolitan Asylums Board having a large hospital at 
Hither Green, to which numbers of patients for scarlet tever, 
diphtheria, etc., are taken from Lewisham and the surrounding 
districts, the management of it may be looked upon as a matter of 
local concern. The Body of Management, however, meets in 
London, and controls all such hospitals within the County of 
London, as well as performing other important duties. The 
Metropolitan Asylums Board was constituted by an .Act of 1867, 
and was empowered to provide asylums for the reception and relief 
of the sick, insane or infirm. They also provide hospitals for cases 
of small pox. The Poor Law Board defined the district and 
prescribed the number of members, viz., 54, elected by Boards of 


Guardians, and 17 others, nominated by the Local Government 
Board. They have independent control of their own expenditure, 
may borrow money for land, buildings, etc., and they obtain the 
money they need by precepts served upon the Union Guardians. 
In 1869 further powers were given them to enable them to purchase, 
or hire, and fit up ships for training boys for sea service. The 
amount contributed by Levvisham Union to the Asylums Board for 
the year ended March, 1907, was ;^27,383. 

District Board of Works. 

Whilst from 1834 onwards, as we have seen, there has been a 
constantly growing organization to deal with Poor Law work, 
there were a great many other matters in the districts adjoining the 
City of London requiring organized management. The first solid 
attempt to systematise this work was the passing of the Metropolis 
Management Act of 1855, which established the Metropolitan 
Board of Works as a London Authority. Connected with this 
body there was in Lewisham the Lewisham Board of Works, 
consisting of 21 members, elected by the Vestry to represent 
Lewisham Parish and 6 for Penge. Their duties included the 
drainage of the district, lighting, watering, maintenance of 
highways, cleansing, and the removal of nuisances, scavenging, 
etc. They had to see to the carrying out of the Building Act, Sale 
of Food and Drugs Act, and laying out new roads. They licensed 
cowhouses and slaughterhouses, inspected bakehouses, insisted 
upon the supply of water to dwellings, carried on the work of the 
Notification of Diseases Act, and the disinfection of infected houses, 
and had the management of certain recreation grounds. Their 
accounts were annually audited, and a statement had to be prepared 
and published with a printed report every year, in June, at a price 
not exceeding 2d. This body was abolished by the Act of 1899, 
which gave over the work to the Borough Councils. 

The Borough Council. 

The work of the Borough Council, though a newer body than 
the Guardians, affects all residents much more directly, and is very 
extensive. Literally, from the cradle to the grave, they have to 
deal with matters affecting the welfare of the inhabitants. They 
carry out the law for insisting upon the milk sold being of a 
standard quality, and they have control of the burial grounds, 
while they constantly give evidence of their work in street cleansing 
and lighting, dust collecting, the provision and maintenance of 
baths and wash-houses, the building and controlling public libraries, 
and in many other matters. 

By the Local Government Act of 1899, they became the Rating 
Authority in the place of the Local Guardians, and had the power 


given them to prepare the Assessment lists of all the properties in 
the Borough. By the Act establishing Borough Councils in 1899, 
a certain amount of system was introduced into our local 
government. The old Vestry was abolished, as were also those 
bodies elected by them, viz., the District Board of Works, the 
Parochial Guardians, the Commissioners for Baths and Wash-houses, 
the Public Libraries' Commissioners, and the Burial Boards. The 
duties of all these bodies, together with other work, were thrown 
upon the Borough Council. 

An appeal, however, can be made from the Rating and 
Assessment Committee of the Borough Council to the Union 
Assessment Committee Meeting at the Guardians' Offices, and con- 
sisting ot representatives of the Guardians and Councillors. 

The total rateable value of the Borough, after certain al- 
lowances are made, is the sum upon which the London County 
Council, the Police Commissioners, and the Asylums Board base 
their precepts, consequently the London County Council are in- 
terested in seeing that no .Assessments Committee unduly lowers- 
the rateable value of the property in its area. The rateable value 
of Lewisham has increased from ^752,462 in 1899, the year before 
the Borough Council came into existence, to ;^i,o72,532 in 1907, 
this increase being largely due to the rapid house-building that has 
gone on, and the growth in value of business property. 

The area ruled over by the Borough Council is not co- 
terminous, unfortunately, with the Lewisham Union or the 
Parliamentary Borough of Lewisham, so that confusion some- 
times arises on that account. It is third in size of the London 
Boroughs, only Wandsworth and Woolwich being larger. It 
contains 6,991 acres, and extends from Blackheath to Upper 
Sydenham, touching the Boroughs of Woolwich, Greenwich, 
Deptford and Camberwell within the County of London, and the 
Borough of Bromley in Kent. 

It has forty-two Councillprs, elected by the voters, in ten 
wards : three wards in Lee, Blackheath, Brockley, Lewisham 
Village, Lewisham Park, Catford, Forest Hill, and Sydenham. 
The election takes place triennially, and one of the first duties after 
election is to appoint Aldermen, either from amongst themselves 
or from outside. There are seven Aldermen altogether, and their 
term of office is for six years, three retiring at the end of one 
triennial period, and four three years later. The .Mayor, like the 
Aldermen, may be a Councillor, or may be chosen from outside, 
and is elected for one year only, but may be re-elected. At the 
Annual Meeting on November gth the election of the Mayor must 
take place. 

By the .Act of 1899 Lee was combined with Lewisham to form 
the Borough, and in 1904 the civil parishes oi Lee and Lewisham 
were also united. The same rate is made and levied throughout 
the whole Borougfh. 



The wards of the Borough are as given below, with their 
population in 1896, the date of the census which was used for the 
purposes of limiting the- size of the wards and apportioning the 
number of members of the Council. The population of each ward 
in 1907 is also given, and it will be seen at a glance what growth 
has taken place, and how badly proportioned the representation 
is when the wards are compared one with the other. The Local 
Government Board will probably be asked to make an order for 
re-arranging the wards, or possibly for enlarging the Council at 
some future date. 



Population, 1896. 

Number of 


Population as 

Estimated bv the 

Medical Officer. 





Lewisham Village 
Lewisham Park ... 


9." 16 






Forest Hill 













Totals ... 




It will be noticed that the population of the whole area has 
increased over 50% in eleven years, the addition being equal to 
the population of a large provincial town. 

London County Council. 

A great change in London government took place in 1889, 
when, in accordance with the Act of the preceding year, the London 
County Council took over the powers and duties of the Metro- 
politan Board of Works. The London County Council then be- 
came the authority for the main drainage of London, took over the 
control of the Fire Brigade, and have since had a large number 
of other duties put upon them. Carrying out the Housing and 
Health Acts, and the control of Lunatic Asylums, taken over from 
the County Justices, form part of their work, and in 1892 they 
became the authority for Technical Education in the County. 
More recently, in 1903, the whole of the work formerly done 
by the School Board was handed over to the London County 
Council, together with the control and maintenance of the \'olun- 


tary Schools, or, as they are now called, Non-Provided Schools. 
In addition to the Elementary Education, they had to continue 
the Technical Education work, and powers w^ere also given them 
to deal with Secondary Schools. This last work is being carried 
out by subsidising some of the Secondary Schools already in 
existence, and by building and maintaining schools of their 
own, while their .Scholarship Scheme provides for the transfer of 
a large number of children from the Elementary to Secondary 
Schools. There are eighteen London County Council Provided 
Schools in the Borough supplying nearly 20,000 school seats, and 
fourteen Non-Provided Schools with over 4,000 seats. The Council 
Schools are being added to shortly, and there is a new Non-Pro- 
vided School contemplated in the High Street connected with the 
Roman Catholics. There are also excellent Public Secondary 
Schools : Colfe's Grammar School, St. Dunstan's College, and a 
new school on the Hilly Fields established by the Council, all for 
boys ; and for girls, the Blackhealh High School, the Lewisham 
Grammar School, the Sydenham Secondary School, and Manor 
Mount School, Forest Hill. 

Lewisham is represented by two Councillors, but owing to its 
rapid growth it is now^ proposed to increase the number to four. 

Metropolitan Police. 

In provincial towns the police force is generally controlled by 
a Watch Committee of the Town Council, but in London, outside 
the City boundaries, where the Corporation controls the police, the 
force is governed from the Home Oflfice. The area for the Metro- 
politan Police work was first fixed by the Metropolitan Police Act 
of 1829, when certain parts of Middlesex, Kent and Surrej- (not 
including the City of London) were constituted. .\ further .Act ten 
years later provided for the addition of any further parts of the 
Central Criminal Court district being added by an order in Council, 
so that any place situated not more than fifteen miles in a straight 
line from Charing Cross may be placed under the supervision of 
the Metropolitan Police. The district at present contains 688 
square miles. The Police .Acts provide for the necessary money 
for maintenance, etc., being obtained from the local rating 
authorities by warrants for sums payable out of the poor rates. 
The amount must not exceed a rate of gd. in the jQ, and Parlia- 
ment bears one-quarter of the total cost. There are fourteen 
police-court divisions, with a court to each, Lewisham Borough 
being included in the Greenwich Division. 

METROPOLirA.\ Water Boaro. 

Until quite recently the Borough was supplied with water by 
two distinct companies, the Kent Water Works in the eastern and 


larger portion of the area, and the Lambeth Water Works in the 
western portion. After many attempts at buying out the Water 
Companies, an Act was at last passed establishing a Water Board 
for London and a large area around it, and we now have to pay 
our rate to this body, which was established by the Metropolis 
Water Act of 1902, and took over the Companies' undertakings in 
1904. In still more remote times water was obtained from the 
streams and wells. Lady Well being a notable example, and it is of 
interest to note that the first supply by means of pipes took place 
in 1809, in the Parish of St. Mary, under the Kent Waterworks Act. 
The Lambeth Company, by an Act of 1848, was authorised to 
supply a portion of Lewisham to the west of the Ravensbourne, 
and in 1894 the Southwark and Vauxhall Company was empowered 
to supply a small portion of Lewisham, which was cut off from the 
Lambeth Company by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway. 
Lee has been supplied by the Kent Company under the Act of 1809. 

Local Ch.\rities. 

Lewisham, like nearly all old towns, has been endowed from 
time to time with charitable bequests, left for the benefit of the 
poor. These, by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, are 
managed by a body called the Trustees of the Lewisham Parochial 
Charities. The \'icar of Lewisham and the Churchwardens are 
ex-officio members, together with a number of elected members now 
appointed by the Borough Council, The charities include monies 
for the maintenance of certain almshouses, for educational purposes, 
and for gifts of money and kind to poor persons at Christmas and 
Easter annually. The Trustees meet at the Town Hall. 

Justices of the Peace. 

Justices of the Peace formerly had considerable powers, which 
have nearly all been given to newer authorities as they have been 
established from time to time — the Guardians, District Board, 
Stipendiary Magistrates, etc. Those having authority in this dis- 
trict are appointed to the Blackheath Division, and, like those in 
other parts of the country, receive their appointment from the 
Lord Chancellor. One of the most important duties now left to 
them is that connected with licensing houses for the sale of in- 
toxicating drinks. 

Registration of Births and Deaths and Marriages. 

Though not looked upon as the work of the Guardians, the 
registration of births and deaths so far concerns them that by an 
Act of 1836, they have to form all necessary districts within their 


Union, appoint the Superintendent Registrar and Registrars, and 
provide a Register Office, where the registers are kept. The 
Register Office for Lewisham is at the Union Workhouse, and the 
Superintendent Registrar is the Clerk to the Guardians. No fees 
are payable to Registrars for recording births or deaths unless they 
are required to visit the residence for the purpose. The register of 
marriages for the district is also kept at the offices in the 

Lunatics and Asylums. 

To get a house licensed as a private asylum, one would not 
have to ^o to any local authority previously mentioned. By the 
Lunacy Act of 1845, eleven Commissioners of Lunacy are appointed 
by the Lord Chancellor, of whom three are medical men and three 
barristers, who are paid for their work. They have the power of 
granting licences for private asylums and houses, and of register- 
ing hospitals not under public control. The County Asylums are 
governed by the London County Council, and Lewisham patients 
may be sent to either of the following : Barming Heath, Cane 
Hill, Banstead, Hanwell and Bexley Heath. The Imbecile Asylums 
are at Caterham and Darenth. 

In giving this bare outline of the work done by the Local 
Governing Bodies, one is reminded that changes are again in 
contemplation, and the organisation of the government of this huge 
aggregation of towns, the metropolis of the Empire, is passing 
through a critical period of evolution. The desire for efficiency 
with the necessity for huge business undertakings which exists, 
induces many proposals from various quarters which would give 
more power to officialism. On the other hand the purely local 
bodies are strongly against any alteration which will transfer 
powers from them to the Central London Authority, or make them 
merely a part of an organisation controlled by the larger Authority, 
instead oi being solely answerable to the electors. Suggestions 
are being made for abolishing the Guardians entirely, and for 
providing that their work shall be done by the London County 
Council and the Borough Councils, while it is proposed that the 
work of the Metropolitan Asylums Board shall be divided up, and 
that body done away with. Other proposals have been put forward 
for establishing a much larger body than the present London 
County Council, to take under its management, not merely the 
present metropolitan area, but also those districts around, which 
are sometimes spoken of as Greater London. 

Certainly the government of London needs simplifying and 
organizing, and those who undertake the work will have to consider 
how far voluntary workers can be relied upon for carrying out the 
multifarious duties required to be done. On the Continent the 
practice of paying for the services of the Mayor and some other 
members of the town authority gives the principal power to the 



officials, though it has the advantage, especially in Germany, of 
securing men who make a thorough stud)' of municipal work, who 
<3epend for their promotion upon the success of their work, and 
have therefore, in many cases practically and successfully carried 
out ideas which to us appear very advanced, if not even Socialistic. 
The solution in London may perhaps be found in a combination of 
skilled officials with the democratically-elected bodies more fully 

(Beneral 3nt)ey. 

Abki,, Sir John 140, 145 

Aberdeen Terrace 68 

Albacore Crescent 131 

Albion Place 95 

Aletasters 37, 56 

Alfred the Great ig 

Al.tjernon Road 113 

Alien Priories seized 36 

Allen, Septimus 97 
„ William 97 

Allen's Green 97 

Almshouses, BooTie's 93, 95 
,, Colfe's 125-8 

,, HatclifFe's 139-141 

,, Merchant Taj'lors' 95 

,, Thackeray's 131 

Anderida, Forest of 21 

Avenue Road 97, 98 

Baldwin, Count of Flanders 19 
Bankers, Manor of 26, 85, 130 
Banquel Family 85 
Baring^ Family 87 

,, Road 92 
Bath House 100 
Baunton, Robert de 24 
Beckenham Place 155 
Bell Green, S3denham 145, 150, 153 
Bellinj^ham 10, 26, 38, 39, 154 
Belmont Grove 88 
Hill 3, 87 
,, Park 95 

Bennett, Mirabelle 107, 142 
Blackhealh 5, 32 

,, Dang-ers of 27, 64 

Digging on 35, 64 
,, Fair on 54, 70 

,, Former extent 61, 66 

Incidents in History of 

,, Market on 54, 72 

Mills on 62" 
,, Montpelier Row 66 

,, Paragon, 66 

,, Railway opened 91 

,, Rise 72 

,, Sports on 68 

Blagdon Street 133 
Blessington Road, Lee 95 
Boone Family 93 

Almshouses 93, 95 

Borough Council 162 
Borsholders 32, 35, 37 
Bowness Road 138 
Bradgate Road 133, 139 
Brandram Road, 95 
Brick Earth 7 
Bridge, Kengley 153 

,, Lady well 1 13 

,, Lee Sz, 87 

,, Lewisham 79 
Plough 82 

,, House Estates 102, 114, 117 
Broadfield, Broadmead 30, 145 
Brockley ^s^ 1 16 
,, Farm 1 16 
Hall 116 
Jack 117 
,, Manor 26, 116, 129 
Bromley Hill 5, 11, 136 

,, "Hill Place 136 

,, Recreation Ground 12 
Brooke House 97 
Brooklands, 104 
Brongers 145 

Brownhill Road 105, 107, 138 
Bulkley, Sir Richard 40 
Burnt Ash (Briiidish) 92 
Butler's Gardens 107 

Cage, The 83, 84 
Camden House 104 

,, Place, Lee 92 

,, ,, Lewisham 102 

Camps Hill (Kemps Hill) 33, 106, 133 
Castlands Road 145 
Causeway at Calford, 141 
Cat ford 9', 26, t,^, 38, 39, 140 

,, Place House 42 
Cator, John 66, 15^ 
Cedars, The, Lee 87, 88 
Cemetery 107, 1 14 
Chalk Pi'ts 77, 81 
Charities, Local 166 
Cheseman Family 148 
Christ Church, Sydenham 131 
Church Grove i 13 

,, House 124 
Clangors 31, 138 
Clare Lodge, Perrj^ Hill 143 
Clarendon Road 98 
Clock Tower 96 
Clowder's Farm 143 



Cockshed Lane 154 
Colfe, Rev. Abi-aham 40, 42-53 
,, Grammar School 40, 43, 30, 

52. 53. 74. 133 

., Library 74 

,, Road 1^2 
College Park 98 
,, Farm 98 
Commonwealth, Lewisham in time 

of 52, 53 
Congregational Church 102, 105 

,, ,, ,, Blackheath 

Conservative Club, Catford 141 

,, ,, Lewisham 104 

Constable, Abraham 135 
Cornhill, Gervaise de 24 
Coroner's Court no 
Councillors, Borough 163 
Creeland Grove 145 
Cresswell Hill 91 
Cricket on Blackheath 70 
Crofton Park 1 17 
Croydon Canal 147, 151 
Crj-stal Palace 150 

JDacre House 91, 95 

,, Street 93 
Dacres Road 147 
Dartmouth House 17, 70, 129 
Row ~,T„ 70 
,, Terrace 76 

Dermody, Thomas 99, 147 
Devonshire Road 14S 
Dickens, Charles 76 
District Board of Works 162 
Doggett Road 141 
Domesday Book 21-24 
Douai, Waller de 24 
Dj'er, Thomas 145 

Eastdown Park 95, 99 
Edgar, King 20 
Edmonds Family 144, 149 
Education (see Schools) 
Edward the Confessor, Vow of 21 
Elfrida (Elstrudis), Daughter of King 

Alfred 19 
Eliot Bank 14S 

,, Park 74 

„ Place 68 
Elizabeth, Queen 40, i 18 
Ellerslie House 81 
Elliott's Works 81 
Elmira Street 81 
Elmvvood, Catford 141 
Elswick Road Si 
Eltham Road 92 

Enclosure of Commons Act, 1810 56, 

•47. 'SO 
Ennersdale Road 99 
Exchequer Place 130, 13 ( 

Farley Road 137 

Felday Road 133 

Fire Station i lo 

Firs, The, Lee 94 

Fishing 8, 79 

Fitz Famil}- 136 

Flint Implements 11, 15 

Flower Hall 155 

Football on Blackheath 70 

Fordyce Road, 134 

ForelaTids 102 

Forest Hill j,2,, 147 

Forster, John 145 

,, Henry 155 

,, H. W., !M.p. 154 
Fossils 9 

Frankpledge 28, 32 
Fredericks Place 98 
Frisby, Michael 129 
Fuller's Place 97 
Further Green 105 

GEOLOt;v 1-16 
George Lane 135 
Ghent, St. Peter's Abbe\' at 19 
Glover's Lane 145 
Glynn, John, Vicar 39, 74 
Golf on Blackheath 68 
Graham, Raynold 42, 53 
Granville Park 68, 76 
Greenaway Place 107 
Grote's Buildings 68 
Grove, Sir George 152 
Grubb, Henr)- 107 

Hadlev Family 104 
Hawkes, Field 146 
Hawstead Road 133 
Hayes 13 
Heath Terrace 76 
Hides in Lewisham 30 
High Pavement '^^^ 

,, Street in i8th Century 133 
Hither Green t,t,^ 56, 105 
Hocuni Pocum 133 
Holbeach Road 139 . 

Holloway Farm 156 
Holly Hedge House 68 

>, ,, Terrace 98 

Holy Trinity, Lee 95 
Honley Road 137 
Honor Oak 42, 1 17 
Horton Street Si 
How, Ephraim 153 

,, John 155 



Infirmary 130, 160 
Inns :— 

Black Horse and Harrow 139 

Black Bull 107 

Bowling Green 72 

Brockley Jack 117 

Castle 107 

Coach and Horses 123 

Crooked Billet 68 

Dolphin 151 

Duke of Cambridge 77 

Elm Tree 137-8 

George 125, 136 

Golden Lion 151 

Greyhound 151 

Hare and Billet 68 

Harrow 68 
,, Lee 92 

Joiners' Arms 83 

JoUv Farmers 125 

Kings Arms, Southend 154 

Lion and Lamb 83 

Plough 76 

Princess of Wales 66 

Roebuck 77 

Rose of Lee 95 

Salisbury 84 

Spotted Cow 105 

Tiger's Head, Lee 92 

,, Southend 154 

Two Brewers 147 

White Hart 99 

JERRARD Street 81 
John's Place 97 
Jutland Road 138 

Kemble Road 142 

Kemps Hill (see Camps Hill) 

Keston 14 

Knapp, John 155 

Lads WKI.1. 1 10-2 

Park 107, 121 
Village 114 
Lampmead Road 92 
Lanier Road 106 
Larking, Jolm \V. 94 
Leathersellers' Company 52, 

146, 147, 15.S , 
Lee, John and Henry bi, 95 
Lee Baptist Chapel gi 

,, Church 90 

,, -Green 92 

,, Manor of 85 

,, ,, House 94 

,, Park 91 

,, Place 93, 95 

,, Road 92 

,, Terrace 90 


Lee United to Lewisham 163 
Legge Family (Earis of Dartmouth) 

LethieuUier, Sir John 109 
Lewisham Bridge 79 

„ Church 118-121 

Early Assize Cases 27 
,, Early Surnames 34. 35 

,', Green 83, 84 

Hill 72 
,, House 109 

,, Manor 32, 39, 42, 53 

Northburgh and South- 
burgh in 30, 37 
Origin and meaning of 1 7 
,1 Park 33, 133 

,, Volunteers 54 

Library Free, 125 

,, Sydenham 192 
Limes, The 54, 100, 101 

Grove and Villas 101 
,, Kilns 77 . 
Lingards Road 102 
Liltlewood Road 1 ^4 
Loampit Hill 5, 8i 

Vale 81 
Lock Mead 81 

Local Government Board 161 
London County Council 164 

St. Lawrence Poultney in 

38, 140 
Road, Forest Hill 147 
Lunatic Asylum 166 

Magnolia House 104 
Mammoth, Remains of 13 
Manor House, Perry Hill 146 

Road, Lee 95 
Manors in Lewisham 26 

,, Land arrangement with 
Courts and Rolls 29, 33- 
,, Customs of 30, 56 
Maples, The 135 
Marvells, The 92 
Mayow Road 152 
Medusa Road 133 
Metropolitan Asylums Board 16 
Mills on the Ravensbourne zt,, 31 

76, 81, 102, 141, 154 
Molesworth Street 83 
Morden Hill (Trail's Lane) 7 
More, Sir Thomas 40 
Morlev Road 102 
Mount Pleasant 34. 134-5 
Mountsfield 136 

n 28 


Nelciarde Road 141 
Northbrook, Earl of 87, 95- 

,, Road 95 

North Park Farm 106 



Obelisk, The 82 
Old Road, Lee 93 
Orchard, The 68 

Page, Sir Gregory 65 
Papal Bulls 25 
Papillon Famih' 94 
Park Hospital 105 
Parker, Archbishop 40 
,, George 109 
,, Thomas Watson 109, 141 
Pascoe Road 99 
Peak (Pigg) Hill 150, 151 
Penn, John 88 
Pentland House, Lee 94 
Perry Hill 145 

,, ,, Farm 145 

,, ,, House 146 

,, Rise 145 

,, Slough 145, 147 

,, Vale 145 
Pickthonies, Field 31, 142 
Pilcher's House 123 
Plasse3' Road 138 
Plough Green 77 
Police 165 

,, Station 1 10 
Pool, River 8, 9, 153 
Population in time of Domesday 25 

,, in later times 56 

Porlange 102 
Pound,' The 28, 137, 158 
Presbyterian Chapel i^i 
Priestfield, Perry Hiiri46 
Pretidergasl, Rev. Joseph 133 
Prior of Lewisham 36 
Priorv, The 131 

,, Farm 138 


Quas.ery> The 14, 15, 76, 83, 92 

Railways Opened 56, 76, 81, 91, 106, 

113, 147, 148. ^ 
Ramsav, John, Earl of Holderness 42 
Ravensbourne River 141, 154 

Valley 8 
Recreation Groinids 1 14 

Hilly Fields 114 
,, ,, Home Park 152 

,, ,, Honor Oak 1 18 

,, ,, Ladywell 1 14 

,, ,, JMountsfield 136 

,, ,, Sydenham and 

Forest Hill 152 
Rectory House, Lee 88 
Renneli Street 83 
Reformation, changes at 40 
Registrar of Births, &c. 166 
Ringstead Road 138 

Romburgh y^ 

Roman Antiquities 17, 57 

Roper, Road 57 
,, Wni. 40 
,, Margaret 40 

Rosenthal 137 

Roxley Road 135 

Rushey Green 45, 136-9 
,, ,, Place 136 

Ryecroft 133 

St. Augustine's Church, Honor 
Oak 118 

St. Bartholomew's Church, Syden- 
ham 150 

St. Dunstan, Archbishop 20 

St. Dunstan's College 142-3 
,, ,, Estates 107 

St. George's, Perry Hill 147 

St. Germans Estate 106, 116 

St. Johns Station 3 

St. Laurence's Church 140 

St. Mark's Church 98 

St. Mary' Parish Church 24, 118; 
Bells 120; Chantries in 120; In- 
ventory of Goods 1552, 40; Images 
in 120; Fire at 121; Rebuilt 54; 
Tower 38, 1 19, 120. 

St. Stephen's Church 83 

Sangley, Sanguinell, Sangwell 9, 2,^,^ 

Schools: — 

Colfe's Grammar School 40, 43, 50, 

.S2. 53' 74.133 

Colfe's Reading School 130 

Count}- Council 164, 165 

Cat ford Collegiate 136 

Grammar School for Girls 130, 133 

Proprietary, Blackheath 90 

St. Dunstan's, Catford 142 

Sons of Missionaries 91 

St. Marv's National 124 
Shell Road 82 
Shene, Priory of -56 
Shooters Hill 6 
Shove Family 83 
Shroffield, Shratholt, Shroffold Manor 

26, 107, 130, 156 
Shrouds, Field 1 14 
Sion House i iz, 

Skeat, Professor W. W. iS, 147 
Slagrave Farm 114 
Slaithwaite Road 102 
Southend 8, 10, 154-5 
Southfield 31, 33, 133 
Springfield 133 

Park 133 
Spring Rice Family 106 
Stanhope, Dr. George loS 
Stanstead Road 141-2, 145 



Slocks, The 83, 84 

Stratford Lang-thoriie Monastery 38, 

Streete House 121 
Slrodes, Field 114 
Stumps Hill 32, 1,2^, 155 
Sunderland Road 142 
Sundermead 30, 81 
Sunninghill Road 81 
Swimmiiitc Baths 113 
Sydenham, Sj-ppenham 10, 19, 26, 54 
,, Common 42-50, 56, 148- 

Hill 148 
Park I SI 
Wells 149 

Thackeray, John 131 
Thundery Mead, see Sundermead 
Thurston Road 81 
Toll Gate, Lee 92 

,, ,, Lewisham 83 

Town Hall 140 
Tyrwhitt Road 82 

Union Guardians 159 
Unitarian Church 102, 125 
Urns found at Blackheath 17 

\'alextine, Jasper 129 
,, Family 156 

Vancouver Road 145 
Vestry, The 138, 163 
\'icarage House 108-9 

X'icars of Lewisham 37, 39, 40, 42, 

108, 109 
N'icar's Hill i 13 
X'olunteers 54, 68 

Waldgavei. 31 
Walerand Road 74 
Wards of the Boroug-h 164 
Water Board 165 
Weardale Road, Lee 95 
Weatherley's House 123 
Wells at Sydenham 149 

,, Park 150 
Wesley, Rev. John 100 
Weslejan Churches 98, 137 
West Hill, Sydenham 151 

,, Wickham 13 

,, Wood (Sydenham) Common 

\\ estbourne Road 142 
Whitburn Road 107 
Whitefoot Lane 6, 10, 154 
White House Farm 154 
William the Conqueror 2 1 
Willmott's Nursery 104 
Willow Walk 139 
Wisteria Road 99 
Wood, Henry 104 
Woodham's House 129, 130 
Woolstone Road 145, 146 
Workhouse 130, 131, 160 

Yeomanry, Blackheath 54 
Yew Tree House 1 29 

Icwiebam antiquarian Society. 

The following- publications are still in print, and may be obtained of 
Charles North, Printer to the above Society, at the Blackheatli Press, 
London, S.E. : — 

I. The Reg-isters of St. Margaret's, Lee, 1579-1754. with extracts from 
Wills, etc. Edited by Leland L. Duncan and Arthur 
O. Barron. Eight Shillings, post free. 

IL The Monumental Inscriptions in the Church and Cliurch^-ard of 
St. Mary, Lewisham. Edited bj' Herbert C. Kirby and 
Leland L. Duncan. Eig-ht Shillings, post free. 

in. A Calendar of all the Wills to the County of Kent, proved 
in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1384-1530. Edited 
by Lelanu L. Duncan, f.s.a. Interleaved. Ten Shillings 
and Sixpence, post free. 

IV. The Parish Registers of St. Mary's, Lewisham, is^S-ty^o, being 
such portions as were saved from the fire of 1S30. Edited 
by Leland L. Duncan, f.s.a. One Guinea, po^t free. 

\'. De Luci the Lo3al, founder of Lesness Abbey. B\ William E. 
Ball, ll.d. One Shilling, post free. 

VI. The Parish Church of St. Mary, Lewisham, with some account of 
the Vicars and Curates of Lewisham. By Lulanij L. 
Duncan, f.s.a. Illustrated. Four Shillings, post free. 

\II. A Short History of Colfe's Grammar School, Lewisham Hill. By 
Leland L. Duncan, f.s.a. Demy 8vo., paper cover, 

VIII. The Registers of All Saints, Orpington, 1560-1754. Edited by 
Herbert C. Kirbv. One Guinea, post free. 

Charles North, Printer and Publisher, The Blackheath Press, 
London, S.E.